Some more information emerged yesterday, regarding the Singapore 747 that suffered FOD damage. Did it really happen in Belgium?
We have already seen that on the 26th of February a Singapore Airlines 747-400 freighter suffered what appears to be FOD (foreign object damage). The wheels on the right-hand side body gear bogey picked up small stones or gravel, at high speed. The result was substantial damage on the gear doors, in front of the wheels.
Early reports into the incident mentioned construction works, taking place at the Brussels International Airport (EBBR). This is where the aircraft had landed, before the discovery of the damage. Locals reported a truck carrying construction materials crossing the runway. So the assumption was that this was the cause of the FOD damage that the Singapore 747 suffered. However, some new information suggests otherwise.
Brussels Airport authorities are saying that they’re working with local aviation authorities on the matter. They are also cooperating with the airline, as well as Dallas Fort Worth Airport. And so far, there is no indication that the FOD damage on the Singapore 747 happened in Brussels. This suggests that the airport authorities inspected the runways and taxiways that the aircraft used, and found nothing.
Singapore 747 FOD: So, Where Did It Happen?
So the story gets a bit more interesting. Now investigators have to look back through the flight history of the aircraft. Dallas (KDFW) is part of the investigation because this was the departure airport of the freighter. Before that, the 747 could have picked FOD in Los Angeles, Anchorage, Hong-Kong and Singapore, in reverse order. Authorities will need to check conditions in each of these airports.
And obviously, the story raises a few questions regarding walk-around procedures. If the 747 didn’t pick up FOD in Belgium, the Singapore crew will have to explain how they missed it. Investigators will need to check what kind of work took place around the plane, during its multi-leg trip. Also, freighters typically fly at night, so lighting isn’t ideal, during walk-arounds. The previous flight from Dallas took off at 1:05am, local time.
After the discovery of the FOD damage, the Singapore 747 spent a lot of time on the ground in Belgium. The troubled plane finally took off at 8:05pm on the 28th of February. It flew from Brussels to Sharjah (OMSJ) in the United Arab Emirates. Then the next day (yesterday) it flew home to Singapore (WSSS). It is still there, as of this writing.
All cases of FOD are taken very seriously. We saw this again yesterday, when a ladder spent over half an hour on a runway. It will be interesting to how the case of Singapore’s incident ends!