A HELICOPTER arriving into Scatsta Airport earlier this year had to have its front landing gear pulled out by ground crew after it became stuck, a report has revealed.
The Sikorsky S-92A, with two crew and 19 passengers on board, suffered the problem on 29 January as it arrived back from the Magnus offshore platform.
A report from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said that the nose landing gear failed to extend as the helicopter approached the airport.
The decision was taken for ground staff to lever the landing gear down manually while the helicopter's rear wheels touched the ground.
The manoeuvre was carried out safely as emergency services waited on standby.
The crew picked this option because as they were landing at a maintenance base, "they had the advantage of additional expertise on hand and the time to identify and rectify the problem".
It was found that the automatic nosewheel self-centring mechanism had not operated, causing the nosewheels to jam the nose leg in its bay.
The exact cause of the failure of the nose landing gear to centre the nosewheels could not be determined, although the manufacturer "observed signs of leakage around the hydraulic port, and oily deposits on the nose landing gear".
The AAIB said the operator is undertaking three safety actions following the incident to reduce the risk of nosewheels not self-centring during retraction again.