Landing Gear On Icelandair Flight Collapses After Touchdown

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.

 

Permanent Car-Free Zones Approved on Three Downtown Streets

The City of Reykjavík’s environment and planning committee has voted to keep sections of three downtown streets permanently car-free, RÚV reports. Laugavegur, Skólavörðustígur, and Vegamótastígur will now all have pedestrian-only zones all year.

The vote was approved with votes from members of the Social Democratic Alliance, the Reform Party, the Pirate Party, and two out of three of the committee’s Independence Party members, Hildur Björnsdóttir and Katrín Atladóttir.

Hildur and Katrín’s Independence Party colleague, Marta Guðjónsdóttir, voted against the proposal saying that downtown business owners are opposed to year-round traffic closures, which contribute, she asserted, to their ongoing struggle to remain open and solvent. For their part, Hildur and Katrín said that the new car-free streets must be managed in consultation with pedestrians, shop owners, and stakeholders. “A lack of cooperation over major construction developments, constant property tax increases, wage increases, and the rise of online shopping are among the things that have created difficulties for shop owners in downtown Reykjavík,” they said.

Taking into account feedback from said stakeholders, the project will be divided into nine sections. This means that the permanent car-free zones will actually be less expensive and less disruptive to local businesses than was thought when the plan was originally proposed.