Atlas 747 Scrapes Three Engines In Gusty Landing


The line between a crash and a hard landing can be pretty thin and there’s an Atlas Air Boeing 747-400 on the ramp at Shanghai Pudong Airport with runway rash (at least) on three cowlings that might define that. According to the Aviation Herald, the aircraft was flying for DHL from Seoul to Shanghai and hit hard enough that the No. 1, 2 and 4 engine pods scraped the runway on Aug. 6. The plane rolled out safely. The damage assessment is ongoing but the plane hasn’t moved since it was parked in Shanghai.

The aircraft landed on Runway 17 and it was windy at the time, with 25 knots gusting to 38 knots from 180-190 degrees with broken cloud and towering cumulus in the neighborhood. The inboard engines on the 747 are closer to the ground than the outboard mills but hitting both suggests some considerable wing flex. The plane involved was built as a freighter in 1998 and has been owned by Atlas since delivery.

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  1. Something tells me that plane will be sitting there for a long time. Just looking at the picture the amount of force to have the wings bend that much would indicate that they not only need to inspect the wings, but the engine supports, the main gear, the supports to the main gear and the fuselage itself.

    What gets me is that landing on 17 with winds pretty much down the runway (slight right cross), how do you drop a 747 down that hard?

  2. Has anyone considered that the two inboard engines may not have scraped at the same time? They could have come in right wing low, scraped the engine, over-corrected, and scraped the left hand engines. That is still really bad, but not as bad as landing so hard both inboard engines hit the runway.