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Final Report: A330 winglet clipped B777 during taxi at Madrid Airport, Spain, Dec. 2015
20 July 2017

Final Report: A330 winglet clipped B777 during taxi at Madrid Airport, Spain, Dec. 2015

Report: Airbus A320 smoke incident due to water heater emanating smoke, near Taiwan

Report: Runway excursion and gear collapse, DHC-8-400, Hubli Airport, India

Report: Engine shutdown and collision with terrain involving Beech B200, Moomba Airport, Australia

Report: Qatar Airways Boeing 777 diversion due to electrical smell in the cockpit, Zurich, Switzerland

Report: Global 6000 loss of cabin pressure incident near Zurich Airport, Switzerland

Report: Unauthorized maintenance causes engine failure on Cessna 208B and fatal accident, Mexico

Report: Controller clears A319 to cross runway at Helsinki, Finland with CRJ-900 on rollout

Report: birdstrike and inflight vibration involving Boeing 747-400 near San Francisco

File photo of the body gear shock strut outboard door on a Boeing 747-400 (ASN)

On 6 October 2016, a Boeing 747-438, registered VH-OEH and operated by Qantas, departed San Francisco International Airport, United States, for a flight to Sydney, Australia. Soon after departure and during the climb, the crew became aware of an abnormal vibration in the area of the left over-wing door. There were no cockpit indications or associated procedures to manage the observed vibration. Consequently, the flight crew were required to use their professional judgement to assess its impact on the flight. The crew utilised available crew resources and maintenance expertise to troubleshoot and assess that the flight could safely continue to Sydney.

The ATSB investigated this incident and found that during departure from San Francisco International airport, and unbeknown to the flight crew, the aircraft sustained impact damage from a birdstrike. The birdstrike sheared a landing gear door strut resulting in the door not closing. That in turn led to turbulent airflow and in‑cabin vibration.

While the birdstrike resulted in a landing gear door not closing, the overall impact on the flight was minimal. Larger doors that have the potential to cause damage have warning systems to indicate if they have not operated as selected.

There was no additional wear or damage to any of the landing gear components. The landing gear door strut was replaced and the aircraft returned to service.

The ATSB states that this occurrence highlights that, even with the assistance of sophisticated technology and systems, flight crew may experience situations that can only be managed using their professional judgement. In this case, the flight crew utilised the support of both on-ground maintenance personnel and cabin crew to methodically troubleshoot the source of the vibration and assess that the flight could be safely continued to the destination airport.

More information:

Report on Nov. 2016 incident: Airbus A380 left wing landing gear failed to extend, Dubai