Atlas Air Boeing 747-8F Experiences Engine Pod Strike in Anchorage
In a startling turn of events, Atlas Air's Boeing 747-8F encountered a significant incident during its recent landing attempt at Anchorage - Ted Stevens International Airport in Alaska. This marks the second time within a single week that an Atlas Air Boeing 747-8F has been grounded due to an unexpected mishap.
On a routine flight from Seoul, South Korea, the Atlas Air Boeing 747-8F, identified by registration N860GT, faced an unexpected challenge. During its landing attempt on Wednesday, at approximately 15:22 UTC, the aircraft suffered a No. 4 engine pod strike. Despite this alarming occurrence, the skillful crew successfully executed a go-around maneuver, leading to a safe landing on the same runway about 13 minutes later.
This particular aircraft, barely a year old with a manufacture serial number (MSN) of 67147, was completing the final leg of its three-way journey, which included stops in Anchorage, Chengdu (China), and Seoul. The Aviation Safety Network report sheds light on the challenging conditions during the incident, noting poor visibility with an indefinite ceiling and variable horizontal visibility on the runway.
Further details reveal the significance of this aircraft within the Atlas Air fleet. Ordered on January 7, 2021, the 747-8F first took to the skies on April 22, 2022, and officially joined Atlas Air on May 27, 2022. As of August 31, 2023, it had logged 5,574 flight hours and 884 flight cycles, boasting an average daily utilization rate of 11:13 hours. The aircraft's market value is an impressive $149.6 million.
Atlas Air's diverse fleet comprises 93 aircraft across 12 types, predominantly Boeing models, including 53 747s of various variants, 27 767s, five 777s, and eight 737s. The detailed fleet composition highlights the company's extensive capabilities and commitment to maintaining a robust and varied fleet to meet various cargo transport needs.
This incident follows closely on the heels of another concerning event involving an Atlas Air Boeing 747-8F. Just a week prior, a similar aircraft, registered N859GT, was compelled to return to Miami International Airport after its No. 2 engine emitted flames shortly after takeoff. Fortunately, in both instances, the aircraft landed safely without further complications.
Atlas Air's recent experiences underscore the challenges faced by air cargo carriers and the importance of stringent safety protocols in ensuring the well-being of crew and cargo. As the aviation industry continues to evolve, incidents like these serve as critical reminders of the relentless pursuit of safety and reliability in air travel.