Passengers on an Icelandair flight arriving in Keflavík experienced a particularly bumpy landing on Friday afternoon. RÚV reports that the plane’s landing gear collapsed after touchdown, but none of the 166 people on board were injured. The Icelandic Transportation Safety Board (ITSB) is investigating the incident.
Passengers reported that the right side of the Boeing 757-200 arriving from Berlin lifted off the runway after touchdown, then returned to the tarmac. The plane is said to have skidded to a stop on the right engine, which created some sparking and smoke. Nevertheless, passengers said they were not jostled too much and everyone on board remained calm.
‘Considerable amount of time’ before aircraft returns to service
The plane stopped in the middle of the runway and passengers disembarked via a mobile staircase. Crisis services were on hand to tend to them. Two cranes, air cushions, and jacks were needed to then remove the plane from the runway, which was then cleaned of oil and debris. Other flights to and from Keflavík remained on schedule.
Ragnar Guðmundsson, who is overseeing the ITSB’s investigation, says that it will be a “considerable amount of time” before the plane, which was manufactured 20 years ago, will be returned to service. It has yet to be decided if the event will be classified as an “aviation incident” or “aviation accident.”
‘The pictures tell their stories,’ but investigation could take years
As of Sunday, Icelandair’s CEO Bogi Nils Bogason had confirmed that the plane’s TF FIA landing gear was brand new; the plane’s old gear was replaced when the aircraft underwent a comprehensive inspection in Kelowna, Canada in November of last year. The aircraft went back into service in January and has completed around 60 flights since then.
Per The Aviation Herald, a photo of the right-side landing gear shows that “a bolt holding the gear mechanism together was missing.” Bogi Nils said he was unable to comment on whether or not this is true. “There are, of course, a number of things that happen to an aircraft when an incident occurs,” he told RÚV. “Such that afterwards, it doesn’t look like it did before the incident occurred.”
“The pictures tell their stories,” Bogi Nils continued. “But as I said, I can’t say more about the incident than that…Everything that concerns the incident and concerns the landing gear and the like is being investigated.”
In an interview on Saturday afternoon, Ragnar Guðmundsson said the investigation was in its early stages, and could take anywhere from one to three years to complete. The next step will be for the aircraft’s black box to be sent out for analysis.