Today, February 27th, a Turkish Airlines Airbus A321-200 dropped both nose wheels upon landing at Istanbul’s main airport. The aircraft came to a stop on the runway, resting on its nose gear strut. The aircraft, carrying 146 passengers and seven crew, still managed to land without reporting any injuries.
The incident aircraft, registration TC-JSH, was performing flight TK1598 from Frankfurt/Main (Germany) to Istanbul (Turkey). As it landed, the two wheels of the nose gear came off. The incident happened at 12:26 local time according to The Aviation Herald.
It goes without saying that the aircraft was disabled as a result. This meant that passengers had to disembark using mobile stairs as the plane was stuck on the runway. Passengers were then bussed to the terminal.
ALERT Nose gear of Turkish Airlines A321 broke during landing at Istanbul https://t.co/Jn56BDsaXe
— AIRLIVE (@airlivenet) February 27, 2020
The aircraft, an Airbus A321-200, is fairly young for its type. In fact, the A321 is just under seven years old, having been delivered to Turkish Airlines in 2013. According to Planespotters, the status of the airframe is now “stored”, while FlightRadar24 corroborates this as there are no additional flights listed for the aircraft to fly.
Similar incidents involving landing gear
In a fairly similar situation, an Air Peace Boeing 737 also had its tires separate from the nose gear recently. The incident actually took place last July, when the aircraft experienced a hard landing. This caused the nose wheels to separate from the strut. While all 133 passengers and six crew disembarked safely in this incident, there was extensive damage to the runway and plane.
Boeing 737 Plane Crash:
A B737 airplane crashlanded at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, MM2, Lagos state after losing its tyres. The Airpeace Aircraft was conveying passengers from Portharcourt, Rivers state. #blueprintafric pic.twitter.com/MZhqNlBQ1q
— BlueprintAfric (@blueprintafric) July 24, 2019
Then in November, a few months after the Air Peace incident, a Turkish Airlines Boeing 737-800 was arriving from Istanbul to Odessa (Ukraine) when the aircraft skidded off the runway during a second landing attempt. Emergency slides were deployed for passengers to safely evacuate the aircraft. No injuries were reported during this incident. According to the Aviation Herald, the aircraft sustained substantial damage to the belly of its fuselage as well as to the left engine.
In a more recent incident, an Icelandair Boeing 757-200 flying from Berlin Tegel (Germany) to Keflavik (Iceland) had its right main landing gear collapse upon arrival at Keflavik International Airport. Taking place on February 7th, a hard landing was also suspected to be the cause of the landing gear failure.
#Icelandair, Boeing 757 (TF-FIA) #FI529 from #Berlin experienced right main gear collapse upon landing at #Keflavik Airport in #Iceland. There were 166 pax on board, no injuries reported. At the time of the landing the wind was 40 kts with 53 kts gusts. #aviation #boeing #avgeek pic.twitter.com/AS2Yt1LF0Q
— FlightMode (@FlightModeblog) February 7, 2020
It seems that the common thread with these incidents are hard landings. Hard landings can be caused by a number of things including weather, mechanical problems, an over-weight aircraft, or pilot inexperience. Thankfully, as the aircraft is already essentially on the ground, a hard landing often causes more damage to the aircraft (and maybe even the runway) than to the passengers within.
Have you ever experienced a hard landing? Or worse, an incident involving landing gear? Let us know in the comments!
We’ve contacted Turkish Airlines with a request for comment. However, at the time of publishing, we have yet to receive a response from the airline. We will update this article if any additional news comes in.