A Ryanair Boeing 737-800, registration EI-EPC, flight number FR-6696 on October 17th 2014, from Malta (Malta) to Edinburgh,SC (UK), was climbing out of Maltas' runway 13 when the crew called an emergency, and stopped the climb at 8000 feet.
They reported a technical problem/signal alarm with the nose landing gear.
The aircraft entered a hold/stack position to troubleshoot the issue, and also as a normal safety precaution to burn off fuel. The Ryanair Boeing 737-800 then returned to Malta and made a safe landing on runway 13, some 70 minutes after departure.
A replacement Boeing 737-800 registration EI-EVN was diverted to pick up the delayed passengers, and subsequently reached Edinburgh (as flight FR-6699) with an overall delay of 4 hours.
Julian Bray comments: The Boeing 737- 800 series is one of the world most reliable aircraft, and has multiple back up systems, however any alarm or signal has to be treated as an incident. The crew took the right action, used the on board diagnostics to troubleshoot the problem then returnede to the departure airport. Even though the crew 'had fixed' the issue; the aircraft would need to be technically signed of by the airlines engineers before being placed back in service. A full report would also be atumatically transmitted back to Boeing.
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