Fuel exhaustion caused a Hapag Lloyd Airbus A310-300 to crash-land 500m (1,650ft) short of the runway at Vienna, Austria, although it came to rest on the airfield, says Austria's chief air accident investigator Günter Reicher.

The pilot glided the powerless aircraft for an estimated 18km (10nm) to a flapless touchdown on the left of runway 34's extended centreline to avoid hitting the approach lighting stanchions. There was no fire and no serious injury to the 143 passengers and eight crew.

On the morning of 12 July, the aircraft (D-AHLB) took off from Chania, on Crete, but the crew could not retract the undercarriage. After communicating with the company, it was agreed that they would attempt the flight to Munich, Germany, one of Hapag Lloyd's main hubs, although the charter flight's destination was Hanover. Having flown at low altitude with the gear down, which almost doubles fuel consumption, the crew reached Zagreb, Croatia, when it decided to divert to Vienna, according to the airline.

The crew's first contact with Vienna, at 12:59 local time, advised air traffic control that it was diverting there, but an emergency was not declared until 11min later. It landed at 13:31, says Vienna Airport. Eight passengers were slightly injured either during the accident or the evacuation.

Source: Flight International