DHL Boeing 757-200 Freighter Door Opens Mid-Flight

**Update: 02/15/20 @ 11:54 UTC – A DHL spokesperson shared a statement; details below.**

A cargo door on a DHL Boeing 757 opened mid-flight yesterday. The aircraft was performing a German route between Leipzig/Halle Airport and Frankfurt am Main Airport when the unexpected issue occurred.

DHL Air Boeing 757 Cargo Plane At Thessaloniki Airport
The crew on the DHL Boeing 757 had to take swift action after noticing an anomaly during the flight. Photo: Getty Images

A quick return

According to The Aviation Herald, the Boeing 757-200 freighter involved in the matter holds registration number G-DHKZ. It was conducting flight QY-126, climbing out of Leipzig’s runway 26L when the crew on board the unit stopped its climb at approximately 5,300 feet mean sea level (MSL). The reason for this stop was due to the plane’s cargo door fully opening.

As a result of the problem, airframe parts fell near the Schkopau coal power plant. This site can be found approximately 10 NM west from the departing airport.

The plane returned to Leipzig, landing in the opposite direction to its takeoff. It touched down at the airport on the runway at 05:47 local time, just 15 minutes after it initially departed. The aircraft stayed on the runway for approximately 40 minutes before being shifted to the apron.

RadarBox G-DHKZ
The DHL Boeing 757 took a trip alongside Merseberg, Weißenfels, Mücheln, and Braunsbedra before soon landing back at Leipzig/Halle early in the morning on February 13th.  Photo: RadarBox

More on the aircraft

The plane was still on the ground at least 12 hours after touching down. Its last known location is also reported to be at Leipzig. It was found that that the 757 sustained significant damage following the mid-flight issue. However, the German Federal Bureau of Aircraft Accident Investigation (BFU) shares that nobody was injured and no freight was lost.

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According to, G-DHKZ joined DHL in October 2018. Its service dates back to its time with Inter European Airways back in April 1992.

DHL European air Transport Boeing 757-200 freighter with
DHL Air currently holds 23 Boeing 757s and three Boeing 767s in its fleet. Photo: Getty Images

The inquiry continues

An investigation has been launched to find out more about what occurred during this cargo operation. Altogether, thankfully nobody was hurt and no goods were lost following the opening of this door on the Boeing 757.

Simple Flying reached out to DHL for additional details about what occurred during this operation near Leipzig/Halle Airport. A spokesperson for the company sent us the following:

“We can confirm that an aircraft belonging to DHL UK Air experienced technical issues after departing Leipzig/Halle airport for Frankfurt/Main on Saturday 13th of February 2021. During the flight lightweight parts of an aircraft cargo door frame were torn off. No civilians were injured. The aircraft immediately returned to the airport and was able to land safely. The incident has been reported and is now being investigated by the aviation authorities. Please understand that we cannot provide further details during the ongoing investigation.”

DHL will undoubtedly be looking to take action so something like this doesn’t repeat. With five decades of experience in specializing in cargo operations, the firm would be surprised to see such an occurrence during its services.

What are your thoughts about this DHL Boeing 757 freighter’s cargo door opening while mid-flight? Are you surprised to hear of such an event happening? Moreover, have you witnessed anything similar during your flights over the years? Let us know what you think of the situation in the comment section.