A pilot has been hailed as a hero after his calm and measured actions saved the lives of 180 passengers onboard.
Wizz Air flight W6-6611 operated by Danish airline DAT departed Tirana International Airport in Albania with destination Berlin Brandenburg Airport in Germany on Tuesday, 10th August.
However, a technical malfunction meant the aircraft’s Hungarian pilot had to make an emergency landing on a runway at Budapest Airport in his home country.
The malfunction had previously been reported as the aircraft’s engine catching fire, with the pilot subsequently activating the plane’s fire extinguishing system.
However, the outbreak of a fire was denied by a Wizz Air spokesperson, who described the incident as a “technical error” instead.
There were 180 passengers on board the Airbus A320-200 at the time, and another plane belonging to Wizz Air – whose base happens to be in Budapest – took them on to their destination, Berlin.
According to The Aviation Herald, the plane was “in the Airspace of Bosnia and Herzegovina when the left hand engine (V2527) flamed out prompting the crew to divert to Budapest, drift down and shut the engine down. The aircraft landed safely on Budapest’s runway 31R about 35 minutes after leaving FL360 and stopped on the runway. After landing the crew requested emergency services to confirm there was no fire and confirmed only one engine was running, they were able to taxi. After a brief check the aircraft taxied to the apron.”
Daily News Hungary referred to the pilot as a “hero”.
Wizz Air is Europe’s fastest-growing airline and has recently stated its aim to hire up to 4,600 new pilots by 2030.
The airline is bucking the trend of caution taken by most airlines since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has seen restrictions severely curtailing international travel.