MIAMI — A Boeing 767-300ER operated by the charter company, Omni Air International, performed a rejected takeoff at Shannon Airport (SNN) after Air Traffic Control noticed that its main landing gear was on fire.
The aircraft stopped on the runway and a passenger evacuation followed, leading to the closure of the airport. The aircraft has since been removed from the runway and the airport has reopened.
All inbound flights into SNN from the US were forced to divert. Both Delta Air Lines and United flights from New York (JFK) and Newark (EWR) diverted to Dublin, whereas the American Airlines flight from Philadelphia, diverted to Manchester Airport (MAN).
A Turkish Airlines cargo flight, operated by Kalitta Air, had to divert to Prestwick Airport (PIK), in Scotland.
All passengers and crew safely evacuated the aircraft, with no injuries reported.
The aircraft involved, a Boeing 767-300ER (N378AX • MSN611), first flew in April 1996 and has an age of 23.3 years. It was delivered to Omni Air International in August 2009.
Flight OY531 was a charter operation carrying US troops from the Middle East and was departing back to America bringing soldiers home.
Omni Air International often uses SNN as a fuel stop location for its flights carrying troops to and from the Middle East.
Shannon Airport Operations Director Niall Maloney noted that “the problem with an aborted take-off is you can probably get things like hot brakes and when the aircraft went around again to come back on the apron, a flame was spotted.”
Omni Air International also released a public statement, noting that the airline is “The Boeing 767-300 aircraft rejected takeoff and was safely evacuated. Initial reports indicate no serious injuries to passengers or crew.”
Likewise, Ireland’s Air Accident Investigation Unit released a statement noting that “an AAIU go-team are responding to an occurrence at Shannon Airport, involving a Boeing 767 aircraft which was evacuated on the runway following a reported fire in a main-wheel well. Following consultation with the Shannon Airport Authority, the AAIU has given permission for the aircraft to be removed from the runway.”