Yesterday morning, two LATAM Boeing aircraft collided with each other at São Paulo Guarulhos International Airport. A 777 crashed into a 767 when it was being towed at the Brazilian hub.
What happened in São Paulo?
According to Sam Chui, the collision happened due to a coupling failure during pushback. This issue caused the B777-300ER, with registration PT-MUB to strike the 767-300ER, with registration PT-MSS. A wing of the 777 had hit the right horizontal stabilizer of the other jet, causing substantial damage to both planes.
LATAM 777-300 and 767-300 collide during pushback/towing at Sao Paulo-Guarulhos Airport in Brazil. pic.twitter.com/GIo5UF1tn6
— Breaking Aviation News (@breakingavnews) May 25, 2020
Due to the global travel restrictions forcing flight suspensions, LATAM Brasil has to ground most of its aircraft. Therefore, to keep them in order during the downturn in passenger activity, they need to undergo regular reviews. This 777 was being towed to perform engine tests, which is a practice that is common while jets are inactive.
Word from LATAM
LATAM shared further details about what occurred. However, the cause is still under investigation.
“During the towing procedure in the Guarulhos airport courtyard this Sunday morning (24th), two aircraft of the company B777 (PT-MUB) and B767 (PT-MSS) collided with the ground,” LATAM said, as reported Sam Chui.
“The company points out that no employee was injured and the causes of the incident are being investigated.”
Problems across the company
Just last week, another LATAM Brasil 767 went through an unexpected incident. It had to return to Recife after takeoff due to engine vibration, which was suspected to have been caused by a birdstrike.
These events add more woes for LATAM, which is going through operational struggles amid the global health crisis. While several European airlines are hearing positive news that they can resume several of their suspended flights, the pandemic is still rocking the South American aviation industry.
Argentine authorities previously announced that it is banning international commercial flights until September 1st. Additionally, the Colombian government recently shared that it will be doing the same.
Furthermore, the United States government announced yesterday that it will be denying entry foreign nationals coming from Brazil. The nation joins the list of countries that the White House feels are a risk during the current climate. Subsequently, LATAM will be worrying about the lack of opportunity across the continent over the next few months.
With the reduction in flight activity, there weren’t as many passengers at the airport when the weekend’s accident happened. Thankfully, there are no reports of any injuries during the collision.
Simple Flying reached out to LATAM for further comment but did not hear back before publication. We will update the article with any new announcements.
What are your thoughts on what happened with LATAM’s aircraft at São Paulo? Are you surprised that this incident occurred? Let us know what you think of the situation in the comment section.