The crew of an Xfly ATR 72 (NOT an Airbus!) faced an unusual emergency when the nosegear of their aircraft rotated 90 degrees on landing.
There have been multiple cases where the nosegear of an Airbus A320-family aircraft rotated 90 degrees. It appears that there are multiple reasons why these incidents are happening (see Mentour video at the end). But rotated nosegear incidents involving an ATR 42 or 72 are far less common.
This incident happened on Tuesday the 28th of June this year. It involved an Xfly aircraft, operating flight SK-649 on behalf of SAS Scandinavian Airlines. The aircraft departed from Copenhagen Airport (EKCH) in Denmark, heading for Hamburg Airport (EDDH) in Germany. Xfly/SAS operate this flight daily, departing just after 2 pm. It typically lasts half an hour to forty-five minutes.
ATR 72 Nosegear Issue – No Warning?
The flight departed Copenhagen using runway 04R. But there is little to suggest that the flight crew knew of a possible issue with the nosegear of their ATR 72. They cruised at FL160, making their approach into Hamburg without entering a hold or having any other delay. The aircraft landed using Hamburg’s runway 23, at 3 pm local time.
According to existing reports, the nosegear of the ATR 72 rotated during the rollout. It is not clear if a burst tyre might have caused this, or if both tyres burst after the nosegear’s rotation. In any case, the aircraft came to a stop on the runway, remaining close to the centreline. But obviously, the aircraft could not then move clear of the runway.
We don’t know how many were on board this ATR 72 during the rotated nosegear incident. However, everyone was safe afterwards. The passengers and crew disembarked on the runway before airport buses drove them to the terminal. As of this writing (a day and a half later), the aircraft remains in Hamburg.
The aircraft in this incident is an ATR 72-600 (72-212A), with registration ES-ATE. It is just over eight and a half years old. Xfly operates seven of these turboprops, all of them for SAS Scandinavian Airlines. The two companies also have the same arrangement for a fleet of five CRJ-900ERs.
To see why these incidents happen on Airbus A320s, check out the Mentour NOW! video below: