By Simon Hradecky

A LATAM Colombia Airbus A320-200, registration CC-BAS performing flight LA-4292 from Medellin to Cartagena (Colombia) with 147 people on board, was climbing out of Medellin’s runway 01 when the crew stopped the climb at 13,000 feet MSL due to a fault indication with the nose gear steering. The aircraft entered a hold while the crew prepared for a return to Medellin with the nose gear rotated by 90 degrees. The aircraft landed back on runway 01 about 45 minutes after departure, the crew held the nose gear up as long as practicable, after nose gear touch down the nose tyres and about half of the nose wheels were ground off until the aircraft came to a stop. The aircraft was evacuated. There were no injuries.

Passengers reported technicians were inspecting the aircraft before departure and told passengers the flight would be cancelled, a few minutes later however the passengers were asked to board the aircraft and the aircraft departed with a delay of about 3.5 hours. After becoming airborne the crew told them there was a technical problem with the nose gear.

Colombia’s Civil Aviation Authority (AeroCivil) have opened an investigation and reported the crew detected a fault in one of the nose wheel tyres after departure and decided to fly over Rionegro Airport (serving Medellin) to burn off fuel.

The airline reported the aircraft suffered a problem in one of the nose wheels, the crew declared Mayday and returned to Medellin.

A Colombian Newspaper reports citing words of Colombia’s Aerocivil, that one of the nose gear tyres burst upon takeoff.