Friday, June 12, 2009

Air France incident in Belgrade

Arriving with a bang
Only a few weeks after the fatal Air France Airbus A330-200 accident on flight AF447 from Rio De Janeiro to Paris, another incident involving an Air France Airbus aircraft has occurred this time in Belgrade. As the Air France A319 aircraft landed yesterday at Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport at 11.30 and taxied to the gate, the aircraft’s left wing hit an aerobridge, at gate A2, causing an engine failure. The accident was most probably caused due to the pilot who did not follow the markings on the taxiway. However, the pilot has since claimed that the accident was caused due to the lack of direction by Nikola Tesla Airport ground staff. The exact cause of the incident will be determined by the Serbian Civil Aviation Directorate which has begun an investigation. There were a total of 70 passengers onboard. The return Air France flight from Belgrade to Paris Charles De Gaulle which was due to depart at 12.40 was cancelled and passengers have been transferred onto other flights. A spokesperson at Nikola Tesla Airport said that this was not a major incident and that, although the aircraft was damaged, passengers were never at risk. The only inconvenience passengers endured was the long time it took to disembark the aircraft and the 60 minute wait for their luggage. The spokesperson also said that the aerobridge in question, gate A2, has had minor damage and should in operation again soon.

It was a bad day for the Airbus aircraft manufacturer yesterday with many incidents involving its aircraft. First an Airbus A330-200 operated by Jetstar International from Japan to Australia had to make an emergency landing in Guam due to a fire which broke out in the cockpit. On the other side of the world, an Iberworld A320-200 from Las Palmas to Oslo with 180 passengers and 9 crew, returned to Las Palmas' Gran Canaria Airport after one of the engines failed emitting loud bangs, sparks andflames. The airplane landed safely 10 minutes after departure. The incident in Belgrade is the fifth Airbus incident in the last 5 days.

12 comments:

  1. I don't know why every single aviation incident should make the headlines. Its ok to bring this kind of news on an aviation blog like this one, though not in quality newspapers from around the world.

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  2. Well it's because Airbus and Air France was on the headlines recently for a number of times. Journalists and newspapers are all about critisicing the companies, governments, etc. (excluding North Korea), pushing them to improve, in order for shame and low ebb to disappear.

    And maybe signalling and signage at Belgrade are of low standard???

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  3. @ Bosnian: I would rather say the pilot was trying to get out of a situation than the signage being of low standard.

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  4. @ Ex-YU: What do you mean by the pilot was "trying to get out of a situation"?! So are you saying that the air bridge (A2 in this case) was to blame?!

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  5. If it aint boeing it aint going....., maybe.

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  6. I wonder if any of these Airbus incidents have anything to do with this:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/businessNews/idUSTRE5531IP20090604

    after all, human mind can be very twisted...

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  7. @ Anonymous: I meant he was trying to make an excuse for his lack of concentration. It was probably his mistake. We will know in a few days when the investigation is over.

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  8. Wouldn't you hate to be an AF executive or spokesperson at a time like this: crash incidents AND a flying downturn...

    Don't AF have a smaller plane to operate than a 319 if they've only got 70 on board (that's a cabin load of less than 50%)?

    @ edo: just remember that for every 'incident' that occurs with an aircraft, more than 10,000 happen perfectly. That shows the safety system is thorough, but anything that involves safety and large groups of people or moving objects is bound to raise an eyebrow.

    @ anonymous: whilst I had a good laugh at the irony of the article, I can't see something like that influencing UA to flee to its rival, especially given all the delays with the new 787 (which may in a few years even be flying into the ex-YU!).

    And if, as the article said, they're looking to change over their medium and long haul planes, they may end up getting the best deal (as SQ, LH, EK etc have done) by mixing their order: x for plane 1 from this company, y for plane 2 from the opposition!

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  9. I just spoke with someone who was actually THERE when this took place and it is almost certain to be the fault of the ground handler, who was looking in the OPPOSITE direction in the final moments of taxiing to the gate. If so, this will be an expensive mistake for Nikola Tesla airport - which really does seem to be run by incompetent monkies at every level from the top right down to the ground crew... :-(

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  10. @Anonymous: If it is the mistake of the airport's staff then it will be an expensive mistake although I don't se how the passenger could see the ground handler who is located in front of the cockpit and apparently passangers had no clue what had happened.

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  11. @ ex-YU:

    I didn't say it was a passenger!

    It was someone working at the airport who saw it from the window facing gate A2.

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  12. As I remember, "Nikola Tesla" airport has a gate docking/park system. It's kind of semaphore which must be observed by PIC. Gate is too close to the building and ground crew CANNOT be observed from the cockpit!

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