MIAMI — An Iberia Airbus A340-600 operating flight IB6453 from Madrid (MAD) to Quito (UIO) sustained damage on its main landing gear after the plane performed an impressive hard landing on the airport’s Runway 18 on August 11.
Following a 10h20m flight, the plane approached Quito’s runway with an unusual nose-down attitude, causing the plane to bounce on the runway. Several pieces were collected following the plane’s hard landing.
The aircraft’s Pilots performed a go-around and immediately climbed to 18,000ft to a holding pattern West of the airport.
Almost 30 minutes after the incident, the plane returned to the runway and completed a normal landing. Total flight time was 10h44m.
A post-arrival inspection confirmed that one of the tires in the main landing gear had exploded, causing the return flight to MAD to be
Aviation reporter Nicolas Larenas shared images of the damaged landing gear. According to him, Iberia and Airbus maintenance technicians flew in from MAD the following morning to assess the real damage on the aircraft, including a more thorough inspection
More than 300 passengers remained stranded in Quito until the Spanish carrier reallocated or rescheduled them on later flights.
Iberia sent in two additional Airbus A340s from Mexico City and Madrid, likely to be carrying spare parts into Quito, and providing with additional capacity to fly back stranded passengers.
Local media states that high winds might have caused the plane’s hard landing.
Iberia’s Bad Past In Quito
The aircraft, performing the MAD-Guayaquil-UIO route, approached the airport under adverse meteorological conditions, touching down hard and vacating the runway at the end.
According to aviation-safety.net, during the descent, the Iberia crew was notified that preceding flights had reported braking action to be medium to poor.
At the moment of touch-down, wind conditions were at 170° with 4 knots.
The aircraft involved in this 2007 incident was ultimately written off.
The pilot in command, following the procedures established by Iberia, decided to leave the ILS glide path and captured the path of the PAPI lights. The aircraft touched down 200 meters past the threshold at a 3.09g side load. The spoilers deployed automatically and main gear tires 3 and 8 blew. The flap lever was moved involuntarily by the copilot, from the full position to position 2.by aviation-safety.net
The crew applied full manual braking and select reverse thrust. The Auto Brake function failed, after which the crew disconnected the antiskid braking system and continued to apply manual braking.
The aircraft passed the end of runway 35, with a ground speed of 90 knots, hit the ILS localizer and stopped 232 meters further. Passengers and crew were evacuated using the slide at door 2R, thirty minutes after the aircraft stopped.
The aircraft was recovered, but it was considered too difficult to repair the aircraft at Quito. It was broken up in May 2008.
Iberia remains as one of the very few A340-600 operators in the world, operating 16 of the type, with the oldest being delivered in 2003.