Croatia Airlines Dash in nose gear emergency

A Croatia Airlines Dash 8 lands safely without nose gear

Last night Croatia Airlines saw its most serious safety incident since it launched operations over twenty years ago. A Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 (registered 9A-CQC) landed at Zurich Airport without its nose gear. The flight, which was operating out of Zagreb, experienced problems upon its approach at Zurich Airport after an emergency light indicated unsafe nose gear. The crew aborted their first landing attempt and made a second one some forty minutes later. Onboard crew declared mayday before landing in Zurich without the nose gear. Zurich Airport halted all traffic in preparation for the emergency. Thanks to the hard work of all crew onboard, the Dash 8 landed safely with all sixty passengers onboard disembarking the aircraft without any reports of injury. Air traffic control at Zurich Airport congratulated the crew by noting, “Excellent job, well done”.

Quickly afterwards, traffic at Switzerland’s busiest airport was resumed. In a statement, Croatia Airlines said, “Croatia Airlines’ crew is well trained a prepared for such incidents and they followed appropriate procedure ensuring the safety of all onboard”. Croatia Airlines introduced its first Dash 8 aircraft in May 2008. The airline operates a total of six aircraft from the Canadian manufacturer, which has a capacity to seat 76 passengers. The aircraft has been praised by the airline’s management several times as it burns less fuel and has lower operational costs.

However, the incident raises questions over the safety of the Bombardier aircraft. Croatia Airlines has seen a string of safety problems with the aircraft with crew publicly speaking out against the type. “The Dash constantly breaks down. Some of the aircraft have micro cracks on the fuselage and corrosion on instillations”, one pilot told the “Večernji list” daily recently. Technicians have also spoken out against the aircraft saying that regular annual maintenance for the type takes up to 25 days while maintenance for the larger Airbus jets take only a week. Exactly a year ago, a Croatia Airlines pilot revealed crew used butter in order to lubricate the forward door on the Dash which refused to close. In May this year, Croatia Airlines crew requested “stress and danger” benefits for all employees working on the Dash 8.

Croatia Airlines has a spotless safety record and has been commended for its safety procedures.


  1. DKinVXO09:55

    Is this the "Istra"? If so she has had problems before. There is even a Youtube video when she returned to ZAG after take off to TGD. Also something with the nosewheel if I recall correctly...

  2. Anonymous10:09

    Thank God all pax and crew are ok and not injured in this incident!
    I personally like Dash's and always had a great flights flying them, but quite a few airlines ditched them from their fleets over security concerns, SAS being the one, etc...
    Regards from Belgrade

  3. If I remember correctly both Malev and Austrian Airlines had exact same problems with their own Dash-8 aircraft. Malev had issues after taking off (or was it landing?) from Skopje while Austrian Airlines was landing in Krakow.

    So what happens now? How long will it take for the aircraft to return back to Zagreb? Will OU lease an aircraft in order to keep its schedule running?

    Good to see no one died.

    1. Anonymous16:32

      Actually both planes were landing one after each other at the same day at SKP. They had the same problem, something related to the landing gears. And the cherry on the cake was that these incidents happened on Friday the 13th, but I'm not sure about the year, 2009 or 2011.

      Excuse me for any errors in this, but I think the story went like that.

    2. 'Good to see no one died.'

      After reading this my initial reaction was to write #Nemjee is an idiot 50 times but I can't be stuffed. I mean seriously, when as the last time passengers dies from an landing gear malfunction.?

    3. Anonymous20:46

      My Wife, baby daughter and I were on that exact aircraft 2 weeks ago!
      Croatia Airlines flights have always been pleasant and the crews are very professional. This incident shows how talented and skilled they truly are when things go badly. Now the airline should stop buying Bombardier jets!

    4. Q400,

      lol you are funny, a funny troll. I was mostly referring to the fact that the aircraft was in a state of emergency and that many other things could have happened.
      I guess you are still bitter from the other day so you feel the need to hiss at me.

    5. Anonymous12:02

      ncident: Malev DH8D near Skopje on Feb 13th 2009, engine failure
      By Simon Hradecky, created Friday, Feb 13th 2009 22:10Z, last updated Sunday, Feb 15th 2009 09:15Z

      The crew of a Malev Hungarian Airlines de Havilland Dash 8-400, registration HA-LQA performing flight MA-440 from Budapest (Hungaria) to Skopje (Macedonia) with 70 passengers and 4 crew, declared emergency reporting the failure of the right hand engine while on approach to Skopje. The crew managed to land safely.

      Maintenance established a failure of the FADEC (Full Authority Digital Engine Control). The FADEC was replaced and the airplane ferried to Budapest on Saturday (Feb 14th).

    6. Anonymous12:06

      Incident: Austrian Arrows DH8D at Skopje on Feb 13th 2009, could not retract gear
      By Simon Hradecky, created Friday, Feb 13th 2009 22:21Z, last updated Monday, Feb 16th 2009 09:55Z

      An Austrian Arrows de Havilland Dash 8-400, registration OE-LGE performing flight VO-780/OS-780 from Skopje (Macedonia) to Vienna (Austria) with 62 passengers, returned to Skopje when the gear could not be retracted after takeoff. The landing was safe.

      Austrian Airlines, parent company of Austrian Arrows/Tyrolean Airways, said, that a malfunction of the landing gear electronics prevented the gear from retraction. The gear remained down and locked all the time, so that there was no danger for the landing. The control computer was replaced and the airplane returned to service.
      DH8D is not so safe aircraft

  4. Anonymous10:50

    By the way says this:

    Saobraćaj na ciriškom aerodromu ni u jednom trenutku nije prekidan i nisu zabeležan kašnjenja zbog ovog događaja.

    So was the traffic halted or not?

  5. Congrats to the pilots and the cabin crew. Reliability of any airline relies with their ability to handle emergencies.

    1. Anonymous19:39

      I agree 100%. This situation shows how profesional Croatia Airlines is. Congratulations!

    2. Anonymous20:28

      We are not talking here about some emergncy procedure in McDonalds. It´s aviation industry, with very high standards, and detailed training. I´m glad that everyhting went out well for the crew and passangers. It only prooves that Croatia airlines deserves all respectible permits to fly.

    3. Anonymous12:10

      We are talking about cheap lowcoast aircraft DH8D!!

  6. Anonymous11:45

    Here is an audio of the conversation between the pilots and the tower:

    1. BA88816:55

      Amazing to hear how calm that guy was throughout!

      Well done!

    2. Congrats to OU crew for their calmness and expertise. Glad to learn that all people aboard are well.

      On a side note, I always thought that pilots would be using English pronounciation of "Croatia" in the official communication... was surprised to hear "Kroacija Four Six Four" there... I thought that "Kroacija" is the local unofficial pronoucination... O boy, was I wrong.

    3. The pilot was a lot more composed once he calmed down a bit. When he told ATC that he couldn't continue the approach and asked where should I go, demonstrated a bit of a brake down of procedure from the pilots point of view. He should have know that standard procedure would be to conduct a missed approach and fly the published procedure.

      Don't know why he asked ATC 'where should I go'?

    4. Anonymous19:22


      young pilot, he didn't know all the procedures, or was bit scared, who wouldn't be.

      I would, I'm sure you would too.

      OU leased 6 Dash 8Q 400s, it seems OU but other airliners too had many issues with these aircraft. Perhaps Bombardier should be looking at issues and try to address them, its a nice looking aircraft but clearly undercarriage has issues as well as engines, I've seen a video on youtube where engines just stopped working, aircraft can still fly on one engine but its not encouraging.

      OU should do what SAS and other airlines did and return the aicraft back to Bombadier, either ask bombardier to look at issues if not addressed return the aircraft at earliest possible convenience and lease new aircraft from Emberer or someone else.

      W/E the case aircraft should be returned in 2018 at the end of lease agreement and new aircraft should be sought, i/e perhaps E175 or even additional A319s.

    5. Nicky Name03:22

      If he was flying the ILS and cleared the visual before he would not be expected to do the full missed approach procedure. Plus at some busy airports ATC may not want you to start flying off to some fix and might want to vector you off the procedure to an area where you can hold and try to figure out your problem. I would have requested vectors as well.

  7. Anonymous12:01

    OU will keep flying with A320, plates 9A-CTF instead of damaged Dash plane.

  8. Anonymous12:04

    Couldnt of happened to a nicer airline

  9. JU520 BEGLAX12:11

    Aircraft was CQC.
    Runway 14 remained closed, other landings diverted to 16 later 28.
    Two LX jets had to land in BSL

  10. JU520 BEGLAX14:54

    latest photo of today

  11. Anonymous18:29

    Dash 8 has serious problems with landing gear, we all know that. But what most of you don't know is that the exact problem is MAIN hydro pump. It's WAAAAAY to small for all it has to endure (flaps, gear, flight controls...). Croatia bought Dash 8s 'cause of political decision and corruption, if it was all fair they would've bought ATR 72 (they had 42's) and train people (mech and pilot) for new engine only. But what does HDZ do? They take money in their pockets and buy completely new type of a/c...

    I seriously hope that are friends form Air Serbia WON'T buy Dash 8, but ATR 72 instead.

    There's even article's online (wiki) on Dash 8 famous landing gear...

    Bravo Croatia pilots! BRAVO!

    Regards from Croatia to all aviation lovers.

  12. Anonymous20:15

    Jao, kad pomislim samo kako je JAT cerupan u medijima ove godine zbog obicnih "indikacija kvarova". A u Jutarnjem danas pisalo pvodom ovog sletanja OU: da je pilot heroj, da je posada bila pribrana i sve odradila po proceduri itd. itd.

    1. Anonymous20:17

      Kasno večeras mala posada Croatia Airlinesa vraća se u Zagreb. Kapetan Šitum, njegov kopilot i dvije stjuardese. Po njih su danas ujutro otišli predsjednik Uprave Croatia Airlinesa Krešimir Kučko te direktor letačkih operacija.

      OTKRIVEN IDENTITET HEROJA Kapetan Šitum i kopilot Ivanković uspjeli su sletjeti bez kotača

    2. Anonymous08:29

      Uhh da se ovo Jatu desilo vec bi ga ispljuvali za medalju a uz to i Srbiju i verovatno Er Serbiju... sama cinjenica da za skoro 24 h nije bilo negativnih komentara samo dokazuje ko ima problem sa kim

  13. Anonymous20:21

    The airline has been always called and branded as "kroacija", not "kroejsha". The same for kroacija osiguranje, i kroacija hotel in cavtat.

    1. I know, but I thought it stood for locals only... :)

  14. Anonymous20:24

    I just recalled the Hudson river emergency landing. This is what I call a professional

  15. Anonymous20:37

    here's ATC conversation

  16. Anonymous22:12

    New problems for Croatia Airlines. Tonight Dash flying ZAG-DUB-FCO returned to SPU because of instruments malfunction?!? More info somebody?

    1. Anonymous00:35

      Zagreb to Rome via Dublin? Really?

    2. Anonymous09:57

      ZAG-DBV-FCO, someone obviously got confused there :-)

  17. Anonymous01:05

    DBV sorry..

  18. Anonymous14:19


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