Azur Boeing 767 Evacuated As Main Gear Catches Fire

A Boeing 767 belonging to Azur Air was evacuated upon its arrival at Barnaul earlier today. It is reported that the aircraft’s right main landing gear caught alight as the aircraft exited the runway. Although the plane was evacuated safely, 20 people required medical attention, according to the airline.

Azur Air, Boeing 767, Landing Gear Fire, ZF-2244
This Azur Air Boeing 767’s right main landing gear caught fire upon arrival in Russia earlier today. Photo: Alec Wilson via Flickr

Aircraft landing gear can get incredibly hot during landing given the immense amounts of energy transferred. However, the landing gear is designed to handle this heat, as fire below the wing could prove devastating. After all, the majority of an aircraft’s fuel is stored close by in the wings. 

Flight details

The flight in question was operated by Russian airline Azur Air, not to be confused with the French carrier Aigle Azur. Flight ZF-2244 was affected by the incident traveling from Nha Trang in Vietnam to Barnaul in Russia. A Boeing 767 registered as VP-BUV was operating the international flight.

Flight ZF2244 was due to depart from Nha Trang at 13:45. As, unfortunately, does not provide radar coverage of Nha Trang, we can’t be exactly certain when the aircraft took off. However, it was detected a short distance from Nha Trang at 14:09.

Azur Air, Boeing 767, Landing Gear Fire, ZF-2244
The flight flew from Nha Trang in Vietnam to Barnaul in Russia. Image:

The aircraft flew to Barnaul in Russia where it was due to land at 21:05. However, the aircraft touched down with a short eight-minute delay at 21:13. As the aircraft taxied off of the runway, The Aviation Herald reports that its main gear caught fire on the right-hand side.

What happened?

It appears that the aircraft’s right main gear caught fire after the aircraft landed. While unconfirmed, one would be led to believe that the brakes had overheated. When the aircraft is landing on the runway, an enormous amount of kinetic energy needs to be removed from the aircraft.

This energy is largely transferred to heat energy through the aircraft’s brakes. This is the reason that an aircraft can’t just launch again straight away following an aborted takeoff. The most logical assumption would be that in this specific case, for whatever reason, the heat wasn’t captured by the brakes as it usually would be.

According to Russia’s Ministry of Emergency Situations quoted by the Av Herald, “the fire was extinguished at 21:40L”.

Airline statement

Simple Flying spoke to a representative of Azur Air. The airline’s press office told us: “AZUR air confirms that ZF-2244 flight faced right landing gear fire while landing roll. The aircraft stopped at runway threshold. In order to ensure flight safety the cabin crew has began immediate evacuation according to the instructions. There were 331 passengers on board. Thanks to the coordinated and professional actions of the crew, all passengers were evacuated urgently.”

The airline went on to add: “According to the latest information, 20 passengers are provided with medical assistance. AZUR air makes every effort to solve the situation, emergency operating center is deployed. At the moment airline have an information that it is possible to take away luggage from the plane. All ZF-2244 passengers are provided with transfer at the cost of airline.  The airline have launched and investigation in cooperation with aviation authorities, aircraft manufacturer and airport of entry.”

Were you onboard the aircraft earlier today? What do you think caused the fire? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.