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Winter Is Here: Finnair Airbus A319 Impacts Snowbank

On November 27th, a Finnair Airbus A319 flying from Helsinki to Ivalo (Finland) encountered some difficulties upon landing at its destination. Moments after the aircraft touched down, it drifted off of the runway, colliding with a thick snowbank near the runway’s edge.

The aircraft involved in the Saturday incident was an Airbus A319. Photo: Anna Zvereva via Wikimedia Commons 

Incident details

According to a JACDEC post on Twitter (embedded below), a Finnair A319-100 flying from Helsinki veered off the runway after landing at Ivalo Airport. Departing Helsinki at approximately 07:23, it touched down at Ivalo at 08:42 local time, hitting snow close to the runway.

Aerotime News reports that the slow drifting upon touchdown took the aircraft off the left side of the runway, leading to a collision with a snowbank that was 15 centimeters thick. The A319 found its gear stuck in the snow after the impact with the snowbank, requiring it to be towed back onto the runway about 30 minutes later. It was noted that there were no injuries reported among the 73 passengers onboard.

Finnish media outlet Iltalehti notes that after being towed to the terminal for inspection, a fault was discovered on the aircraft. This had to do with the aircraft’s engine, which then underwent repair.

Simple Flying reached out to Finnair for a statement on the incident. However, at the time of publication, no response to our inquiries was received.

About the aircraft

Sources note that the aircraft involved in this incident was an Airbus A319-100 registered as OH-LVL. Operating flight AY601 from Helsinki to Ivalo, the plane touched down at 08:42, becoming stuck in the snowbank moments later. What was supposed to be a quick turnaround to Helsinki became a slightly longer stay. OH-LVL was originally scheduled to arrive back at the Finnish capital at 10:40 local time but had an actual arrival time of 14:36, indicating a delay of approximately four hours.

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However, despite the reported engine issues, the fact that the A319 was able to fly back to Helsinki is a good sign that the fault has been fixed. Indeed, although the incident took place on November 27th, flight data indicates that the jet then flew from Helsinki to Vienna and then back to Helsinki. Over the course of November 28th, the aircraft also operated four segments- a round-trip flight from Helsinki to Paris and another from Helsinki to Rome.

Finnair_Airbus_A319_OH-LVL_flight_AY7001
Finnair has six Airbus A319s in its fleet. Photo: Valentin Hintikka via Wikimedia Commons 

OH-LVL was delivered to Finnair in September 2004. Having had its first flight in June 2004, the aircraft is approximately 17 and a half years old. The aircraft had an original configuration of 123 economy class seats (with euro-economy flexibility). However, data from Planespotters.net indicates that the airline further densified the aircraft and added more seats to have a maximum of 138 passengers.

Finnair has a total of six Airbus A319s with an average sub-fleet age of 20.1 years. OH-LVL is the youngest of the A319s.

What do you think of this incident? Have you ever been on a flight that had a snow-related incident? Share your experiences with us by leaving a comment.


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