An Xfly ATR-72, operating on behalf of SAS, suffered a nose gear problem after landing in Hamburg. The aircraft’s nose gear rotated 90 degrees leading to its nose tires bursting.
SAS flight nose gear incident
The flight took off from Copenhagen Airport at 14:15, 10 minutes later than its scheduled departure time, for the 45-minute journey to Hamburg.
The aircraft, an SAS ATR 72-600 operated by Estonian ACMI specialist Xfly, initially touched down at Hamburg Airport routinely at 15:08. According to The Aviation Herald, as the plane slowed during the rollout phase, its nose gear turned 90 degrees, causing its nose tires to burst.
The plane came to a halt on the runway as emergency services attended the scene. It isn’t clear what caused the nose gear to twist, although a front-heavy landing or a pre-existing structural weakness could be to blame.
Simple Flying explored why aircraft land on their rear wheels first, noting that the nose gear can only handle 15% of the aircraft’s weight.
No reported injuries
The nose landing gear incident fortunately caused no injuries to any passengers or crew onboard. Passengers disembarked the aircraft onto the runway and were bussed to the airport terminal.
The ATR 72 is still on the ground in Hamburg at the time of publication, and its return journey to Copenhagen was understandably canceled. It remains to be seen when it will take flight again.
Other nose gear incidents have led to injuries, including nine passengers hurt on Southwest Airlines flight 345 in July 2013. Photo: Getty Images.
Simple Flying has reported on similar incidents in the past, such as a Batik Air Airbus A320 landing with its nose gear turned 90 degrees and an Air Algerie ATR-72 which suffered a nose gear collapse.
Another incident involved an Austral Lineas Aeras ERJ190 which lost a nose wheel after landing. The plane landed without incident and its crew only became aware of the incident after ground staff noticed its missing wheel.
Xfly ATR-72-600 – ES-ATE
The aircraft involved in this incident is an 8-year-old ATR-72-600 operated by Xfly. The plane entered service with Danish charter carrier Jet Time in March 2014 before flying on behalf of SAS.
According to ch-aviation, the ATR-72 is owned by aviation lessor Nordic Aviation Capital and joined the Xfly fleet in 2017. Xfly is an Estonian carrier and subsidiary of Nordic Aviation Capital known as Regional Jet until February 2020.
SAS has christened this plane with the name ‘Torver Viking.’ The ATR-72, which seats 70 passengers in an all-economy layout, has completed over 13,000 flight hours and around 1,800 flight operations since entering service.
Have you ever been on a flight that suffered from a nose gear failure? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments.