Pictures have emerged of an Aeroflot A320 which has apparently collided with another aircraft today, also an A320 and also belonging to Aeroflot. Both planes suffered damage, although no injuries to passengers or crew were reported. The Moscow Interregional Transport Prosecutor’s Office (MMTP) is investigating.
It seems that an Aeroflot owned A320 had arrived at Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow, having flown from Minsk earlier today. Having landed safely, the A320 proceeded to travel along the taxiway, presumably to a gate in order to deplane its passengers.
However, during this taxi, the aircraft collided with another one parked on the apron. It seems that the other aircraft was also an A320 belonging to Aeroflot.
JADEC shared images of the collision in a tweet shortly after the incident:
Two Aeroflot Airbus A320 received minor damage when their wingtips collided at Moscow-Sheremetievo Intl AP (UUEE), Russia. One aircraft arriving from Minsk taxied into its parking stand when it contacted the other A320. https://t.co/qpioDDh3Pahttps://t.co/vCA2WAvVrj pic.twitter.com/qqziPZFhzR
— JACDEC (@JacdecNew) November 15, 2019
Reports suggest that no passengers or crew suffered injury. However, from the photographs, it appears that the winglets on both aircraft have suffered significant damage.
Winglets provide extra aerodynamic efficiency to the aircraft and can be supplied either factory fit or as a retrofitted option for older aircraft. Replacement of the ‘Sharklets’, as Airbus calls them, is estimated to cost around $1M per plane. The wings will inevitably need to be inspected for damage also.
The second investigation this month
RT reports that the prosecutors office has launched an investigation into the incident, following a report submitted to the Moscow Interregional Transport Prosecutor’s Office (MMTP). The outlet quotes the report as saying,
“The inspection was entrusted to the Moscow prosecutor’s office for the supervision of the implementation of laws on air and water transport.”
Aeroflot will now face an audit and investigation into the reasons why this has happened. Although nobody was injured, such an event reflects badly on the airline and indicates a level of carelessness or inexperience of the pilots.
This is the second investigation launched against Aeroflot this month by the MMTP, after a Sukhoi Superjet belonging to the airline had to make an emergency landing at Moscow. The Aviation Herald reports that this was a flaps problem. RT notes that the MMTP report says,
“The Moscow prosecutor’s office for the supervision of the enforcement of laws on air and water transport organized an audit on the fact of an emergency landing on 11/08/2019 at the Sheremetyevo airport of an aircraft following the route Rostov-on-Don – Moscow of the airline PJSC Aeroflot – Russian Airlines.”
On the same day, as shared also by RT, an Embraer E190 was preparing to take off from Khabarovsk Airport when the engine caught fire. All 18 passengers and crew were evacuated safely.
It seems to be a month of things going wrong for Aeroflot. A string of unfortunate coincidences or a marker of underlying issues at the Russian carrier? The MMTP will need to decide.