Breaking: Air Canada Boeing 767 Landing Gear Falls Into Engine

An Air Canada aircraft has been reported to be returning to Madrid after a problem with the landing gear. Reports suggest that the Boeing 767 was heading to Toronto from Madrid when a part of the landing gear came off and fell into the engine. All 128 passengers on board are said to be safe and, at around 18:30 UTC, the aircraft landed safely back at Madrid.

Air Canada 767
The Air Canada 767 will make an emergency landing once it has burned enough fuel. Photo: Kambui via Wikimedia

Update: 18:30 UTC – A safe landing

🔴 ÚLTIMA HORA: El avión de Air Canadá AC837 aterriza con éxito en el aeropuerto Adolfo Suárez-Madrid Barajas.http://www.rtve.es/noticias/20200203/directo_aterrizaje_emergencia_air_canada_barajas/1998806.shtml

Posted by RTVE on Monday, 3 February 2020

What happened?

A Boeing 767 operating on behalf of Air Canada was scheduled to make the long journey to Toronto (YYZ) from Madrid (MAD) earlier today under flight number AC837. The flight was due to depart at 12:55, but was delayed at Madrid, possibly related to a drone sighting there earlier today.

The aircraft pushed back at 14:57 but was only minutes into its flight when a problem occurred. The son of a passenger told Tom Poldec Aviation that, just after take off, his father heard a loud bang and noticed a smell of burning rubber.

It appears that part of the landing gear or perhaps a part of a tire has been ingested by the aircraft’s engine. Sky News says that a Spanish pilots union has confirmed to them that a part of the landing gear ‘fell off’ and went into the engine.

Air Canada provided a statement to Simple Flying regarding the incident, saying,

Air Canada flight AC837, Madrid to Toronto, experienced an engine issue shortly after take-off. A tire also reportedly ruptured on take-off, one of 10 on this model of aircraft. The aircraft opted to return to Madrid and is currently circling to use up fuel and lighten the aircraft for landing. The aircraft, a Boeing 767-300, is designed to operate on one engine and our pilots are fully trained for this eventuality. Nonetheless, an emergency was declared in order to obtain landing priority. There are 128 passengers on board. We have no further details on the cause at present.

 

At the time of writing, the aircraft is still circling to burn off fuel. The Boeing 767 would have been carrying a full load of fuel to make the long trip to Toronto, and as such is overweight to land back at Madrid. The aircraft has moved away from populated areas, but is, at the time of writing, still circling over the city.

Ac 767
The Boeing 767 is still circling to burn fuel. Photo: Flight Radar 24

 

Spanish Air Force scrambled

The aircraft is not in any immediate danger, and is likely to need to circle for another two hours or so to burn off enough fuel for a safe landing. In the meantime, the Spanish Air Force has been scrambled to take a look at the aircraft.

At least one F18 fighter jet is flying parallel to the Air Canada Boeing 767, in order for pilots to undertake a visual inspection of the aircraft. Damaged landing gear could make it tricky for the aircraft to be landed safely, so the Boeing flight crew need all the information they can get about the condition of the aircraft.

The current estimated time to land is 19:30 local time (18:30 GMT), which will have put these passengers on a four and a half hour flight to nowhere.

Although the plane is fully expected to make a successful landing back at Madrid airport, protocol has the emergency services in attendance. Dozens of ambulances have been sent to the airport along with several fire trucks. Local hospitals are also on alert.

At around 18:30 UTC, the aircraft landed safely back at Madrid.

Were you onboard AC837? Let us know in the comments.

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