Lufthansa Jet Bound for Chicago returns with damaged tire – the Berlin Spectator

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A damaged aircraft tire caused an incident in the skies over Europe on Wednesday. The pilots of an Airbus A350 belonging to Lufthansa returned to Germany when they discovered the problem. For several reasons, they could not land right away.

Sofia, September 16, 2021 (The Berlin Spectator) – Passengers on a Lufthansa flight that was due to end at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport must have been happy when they landed on the ground, after a 6-hour ordeal in the skies over several European countries. According to Aviation Herald, flight number LH 434 took off from Munich on Wednesday. After the Airbus A350-900 arrived in Glasgow, the crew learned that pieces of one of their tires had been found on runway 26L at Franz Josef Strauss Airport, near Munich.

Low speed approach

The runway used by the plane is the only one available at the airport until the beginning of October, since runway 08L / 26R is being renovated. This detail prolonged the time that the passengers and crew of Lufthansa flight no. LH 434 were on board the aircraft yesterday. The Airbus A350-900 has two rear four-wheel landing gears and a two-wheel nose gear. At this point, it is not known which tire was damaged. But the Aviation Herald reports that the plane had made a low-speed approach to Cologne airport, in order to give technicians the opportunity to see the damage.

A landing at Munich airport was still not possible, for two reasons. First of all, the airport did not want to lose its only runway. There was a risk that the rim under the damaged tire could have damaged the runway or that the aircraft had blocked it for a long time. It would have meant the closure of the entire airport. Second, the giant Airbus still had too much kerosene in its tanks. As it was not equipped with a fuel drain system, it had to burn enough fuel to make the aircraft light enough for landing, which is why the flight circled around Nuremberg and Munich for time.

Landing in Frankfurt

Finally, after more than six hours, the plane touched down at the main airport in Frankfurt on the Rhine, which is Lufthansa’s main hub in Germany. Flight number. LH 434 landed safely. The passengers were to be sent to O’Hare Airport on another plane. Lufthansa has many planes available at the moment. Due to the current Corona crisis, the number of flights sent by the airline is still very low. Lufthansa Group, the company that owns the airline with Swiss, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Eurowings and Eurowings Discover, had to be bailed out by the German government last year, with gigantic aid worth $ 9 billion. euros (US $ 9.87 billion). or £ 8.09 billion).

Parts of burst tires on runways can become a hazard to airplanes and even cause accidents. In 2000, a Concorde crashed seconds after taking off from Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris when a piece of metal on the runway blew one of its tires. Part of the tire damaged one of the supersonic aircraft’s fuel tanks. The Concorde caught fire and crashed into a hotel near the airport. All 109 people on board, many of them Germans, and four people on the ground were killed.

Little traffic over the Atlantic

At this point there are few flights from Europe to the United States of America or vice versa, due to the Corona pandemic and the fact that the United States still has an entry ban for people having stayed in Germany or any other country in the Schengen area 14 days before their arrival. For decades, the North Atlantic route was not so empty, until the Corona Crisis began in early 2020.

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