DHL Jet Skids Off Runway, Breaks Up After Emergency Landing
(Bloomberg) -- A Boeing Co. 757 cargo jet operated by DHL broke in two after skidding off the runway at Juan Santamaria International airport in Costa Rica.
The crew reported hydraulic problems with the 22-year-old aircraft after takeoff and made an emergency landing, according to a statement Friday from DHL. The two pilots escaped without serious injury and the company has launched an investigation to determine what happened, the company said.
The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board will assist in the investigation under an international treaty allowing participation by the country where the plane was manufactured. An NTSB investigator and technical experts from Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration will be traveling to Costa Rica, NTSB spokesman Peter Knudson said.
Multiple videos posted on social media purported to be of the landing showed an aircraft in DHL’s yellow livery touching down and rolling along the runway. It then made an abrupt right turn as what appeared to be smoke trailed its left main landing gear.
The jet spun about 180 degrees and its tail went down an embankment. Photos showed the tail section snapped off from the main fuselage.
Airport fire and rescue crews were on scene within less than a minute, according to one video, and it didn’t appear that the plane’s fuel ignited.
Data from flight tracking website FlightRadar24 show the jet took off from Juan Santamaria Airport and initially headed north before abandoning its original course around 10 minutes into the flight.
The pilots then swung the aircraft back south before entering a holding pattern for around 20 minutes, presumably to dump excess fuel that could ignite in a crash landing.
The aircraft then descended in a north easterly direction before the crash landing at the airport.
“We are pleased to report that the crew were physically unharmed in the incident,” DHL, owned by Deutsche Post AG, said in a statement. “One crew member underwent medical checks as a precaution.”
The website Aviation Accidents shows two other incidents involving DHL aircraft during last 10 years. In 2012, an Airbus A300-B4 skidded off the runway after landing due to a fault with its nose gear steering, investigators found.
In 2016, a B737-400 operated by ASL Hungary on behalf of DHL landed short of the runway at Bergamo Orio al Serio airport in Milan and lost its landing gear and both engines after clipping a perimeter fence.
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