View Full Version : Virgin A340-600 Written off???

12th Dec 2003, 00:12
Hi people,

Does anyone know if there is any truth in the rumour that Virgin have had to write off one of their A340-600's after a heavy landing?

The story I heard (totally unconfirmed) was that one did a heavy landing and the fuselage bent and stretched on the top and stayed bent! :S

Like I said, I only heard a rumour so it could all be pish posh and all that.


12th Dec 2003, 00:18
So, Sir RB's is longer than the others AND has a bend in it?

(Really, really sorry! Couldn't resist)

Just as an aside, could somebody please remind me how many A340-600's does Virgin have?

12th Dec 2003, 00:47
6 A346s in service, 1 to be delivered in Feb 04 and 3 in 2005


12th Dec 2003, 00:49
Thank you Torque!

12th Dec 2003, 00:51
All VS 340's still long and throbbing and not bent

12th Dec 2003, 01:06
I didn't hear about VS, but I heard that one of Cathay's -600s had a heavy landing and that Airbus recommended that a new main u/c be fitted before return to service. I read this very recently, but can't remember where; I'll look and post when I find it.

I also heard that one of EK's A340-500s had a heavy landing on one of its first flights into SYD and had to be inspected for structural damage.

From Airliners.net:

CX A340-600 B-HQA is now AOG in HKG awaiting a ship set of left and right main landing gears following a heavy landing back in late November.

Airbus have analyised the landing data,and confirmed gears must be changed before next flight.

2,23g landing was the recorded inpact.


Maybe some of our Cathay friends could confirm?

Lu Zuckerman
12th Dec 2003, 01:59
It is very strange in that the landing gear is the most structurally robust element of an aircraft and making a hard landing causes such large overstresses to warrant the changing of the gear. The stresses that caused the changing of the gear are reacted by the airframe so why isn’t there a more stringent inspection than a visual inspection. The overstress of the fuselage and / or the wings can manifest itself in structural failure in flight at a later date.

Remember “No highway in the sky” and the Reindeer.

:E :E

12th Dec 2003, 22:59

Haven't heard of any heavy landings for the EK -500s.

The second one got FOD damage on arrival in Sydney which put a gash in the hull and knocked a panel off. Quickly repaired (3.5 hours) and its flying again.



12th Dec 2003, 23:00
Big Airways had a b747-400 heavy landing a few years ago.It resulted in 7 skin changes,5 landing gear changes and 2 landing gear bulkhead changes.The landing gear had to be quarantined for 6 months to see if the oleos developed cracks.It was part of the inspection process.They did'nt.

13th Dec 2003, 00:08
The aircraft structure is a damage tolerant structure, so damage would be detectable after a hard landing, and there are hard landing inspections to be done in the areas known to be subject to possible damage. If these areas are OK, the structure can be cleared.

Landing gear on the other hand are safe life items (not damage tolerant), so in case of loading beyond the limit load the parts need to be NDT'd and checked for plastic deformation and residual stresses. Residual stresses cause stress corrosion cracking (most landing gear structural members are 300M UHTS Steel), and localised fatigue cracking.