An inquiry is to be launched by Irish air accident authorities into the crash of an Aer Arran aircraft at Shannon airport yesterday (Sunday, July 17).
Some 21 passengers and four crew survived the crash, which happened when the nose wheel of the ATR-72 twin-engine turboprop appeared to collapse on landing. The aircraft, in Aer Lingus colours under a franchise arrangement, skidded about 100 metres along the runway before it came to rest on a grass verge in front of the air traffic control tower at 10.30am.
The pilot of the aircraft, on a scheduled Aer Lingus regional service from Manchester, is understood to have previously sought permission to “go round” and approach the runway a second time in windy conditions.
The airport did not re-open until after 4pm after a preliminary examination by air accident investigation staff. Aer Arann said the aircraft had experienced “a suspected failure of the nose wheel landing gear”.
It said it could not speculate as to the cause of the incident, and the relevant authorities had been informed. The airline said: “The aircraft departed Manchester Airport at 08.50am and was due to arrive in Shannon Airport at 10.15am.
“As the aircraft landed on its second approach at approx 10.30am it experienced a suspected failure of the nose wheel landing gear and veered off the runway onto the grass. The emergency services at Shannon Airport were activated.
“There were 21 passengers and four crew members on board. All passengers and crew safely disembarked the aircraft and no injuries have been reported.
“Aer Arann cannot speculate as to the cause of the incident and the Irish Aviation Authority and Air Accident Investigation Unit, branch of the Department of Transport have been informed.”
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