A bizarre incident occurred in Russia involving an Airbus A319 this week. The Rossiya-operated jet was flying domestic service from Krasnodar to St. Petersburg and landed safely on November 3rd. It was only after landing, during a post-flight inspection, that the aircraft was found to have about five meters of earthing cable entangled in one of its landing gear.
It began as an uneventful flight
The Rossiya Airbus A319-100, registration VP-BWJ was performing flight SU6314 from Krasnodar to St. Petersburg on Tuesday, November 3rd. The Aviation Herald reports that onboard the small single-aisle jet were 123 passengers and five crew members.
The flight departed Krasnodar’s (KRR) runway 05R and proceeded to complete a seemingly uneventful flight as it landed safely on St. Petersburg’s (LED) runway 28L.
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Meters-long cable discovered
During a post-flight inspection, it was revealed that a five to six-meter-long ‘earthing cable’ had been entangled in the hydraulic lines and brakes of the aircraft’s left main gear. Additionally, damage to the radio altimeter #2 antenna was found, and there were numerous abrasions to the belly of the fuselage.
This information was made known via Rosaviatsia, Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency, on November 5th.
After the discovery of the cable and fuselage damage, St. Petersburg’s runway 28L and the aircraft’s taxi route was inspected. No damage or foreign objects were found during the examination.
The aircraft was withdrawn from service for further assessment and inspection. At the time of this article’s publication, the aircraft remains on the ground at St. Petersburg Pulkovo Airport.
With an uneventful flight and a subsequent search of the runway, this incident is indeed mysterious, and we can only speculate on what happened. It seems possible that the aircraft ‘picked up’ the cabling upon landing, which was the only item on the runway. However, the antenna damage and fuselage abrasions are far more difficult to explain.
Simple Flying has reported on Rossiya several times already this year. In January, an A320 had to perform a low-altitude flight from St. Petersburg to Murmansk due to pressurization issues caused by a cargo door seal. In May, a Rossiya Airbus A319 headed to Bashkortostan experienced a sudden loss of cabin pressure and was forced to return to its origin at St. Petersburg Airport.
What do you think happened here? Where could the cable and belly damage have come from? Please give us your best guess by leaving a comment.
Simple Flying made efforts to contact Rossiya airlines for an official statement or additional comment. At the time of this article’s publication, no response was received.