Cargolux 747 Scrapes Engine In White-Knuckle Landing Caught On Video

A Cargolux Boeing 747-400 freighter went viral over the weekend for attempting a landing that did not go as intended, resulting in damage to the aircraft and a dramatic video of the incident. 

The Cargolux 747, which was registered as LX-ECV, had taken off for flight CV7545 from Dubai Al Maktoum International Airport in the United Arab Emirates on April 15 at 2:10 p.m. local time. The aircraft was approaching Luxembourg Findel Airport in that country for landing after a six-and-a-half-hour trip when the footage of the incident that would soon follow was recorded from the ground and later shared on social media.

The video shows the plane touching down hard a what was reportedly Findel Airport’s Runway 06, causing the aircraft to bounce off of the runway. The 747 then wavers in mid-air for a moment before coming back down again, slapping down its nose gear in a wing-down orientation, noticeably scraping one of its left engines across the tarmac. The plane then takes to the air again and the clip ends. 

According to reports that have since emerged following the hard landing, LX-ECV’s crew ultimately decided to abort the landing altogether and perform a go-around. The aircraft is said to have reached an altitude of 4,000 feet as it carried out the second landing attempt and Flightradar24 data shows that it was able to safely touch down at 6:45 p.m. local time.

Flightradar24’s playback of the LX-ECV’s flight. Credit: Flightradar24 screenshot

Cargolux Airlines, which is a major cargo air carrier and is headquartered in Luxembourg, has released a statement about the incident confirming that the aircraft did suffer an unspecified level of damage. The company said that LX-ECV will remain grounded until the necessary inspections, repairs, and internal investigations are completed. The airline has also made it clear that no one was injured during the incident. 

Corresponding photos have since surfaced online as well showing some of the damage sustained by the aircraft after its hard landing. In two such images, scrapes and dents can be seen on the underside of at least one of the plane’s left-wing engine nacelles. 

LX-ECV is a 14-year-old Boeing 747 cargo plane that belongs to Cargolux’s fleet of 30 aircraft, which also includes 747-8F purpose-built types. Additional information provided by Flightradar24 detailed that LX-ECV was originally performing a return service to Taipei from Luxembourg, but the flight was diverted to Dubai and then directed to continue on to Europe. 

The kind of cargo that LX-ECV may have been hauling on its flight back to Luxembourg’s Findel Airport, which it is based out of, wasn’t divulged by Cargolux. The airliner’s website states that its Boeing 747-400s have a maximum takeoff weight of 875,000 pounds. The engines found in each of the plane’s four underwing nacelles are CF6 high-bypass turbofan models produced by General Electric Aviation. 

The predominant consensus about what exactly caused the mishap to occur still largely seems to be uncertain. Using Flightradar24 data, the Breaking Aviation News & Videos account on Twitter did make it a point to note that LX-ECV was attempting to execute the landing with a 15-knot crosswind and a relatively high ground speed of 175 knots. While the crosswind isn’t anything out of the ordinary for most commercial airliner landings, the incident could have simply been caused by an overcorrection.

A similar situation occurred back in 2021 when an RC-135U Combat Sent electronic intelligence-gathering aircraft made a frightening crosswind landing at RAF Mildenhall in England. The plane was returning from a mission and had to make an approach to Mildenhall’s Runway 28, which eventually led to a sudden dip in its left wing causing one of its engine nacelles to drag against the airstrip causing damage.

If Cargolux’s ongoing investigation results in any notable findings as to the cause of LX-ECV’s turbulent landing, The War Zone will be sure to provide an update. 

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