Italy probes second A320 gear-up landing at Rome

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Italian investigators have opened an inquiry after the second accident at Rome Fiumicino in four months involving an Airbus A320 with stuck main-gear.

Investigation authority ANSV says the aircraft (EI-EIB) landed “without undercarriage” following its flight, AZ063 from Madrid, on 29 September.

Alitalia says there was a “failure” in the right-hand main gear, although Italian civil aviation authority ENAC states that the gear failed to release.

The aircraft made two approaches to Fiumicino, conducting circling manoeuvres in between, before the pilot – a former military officer who has logged over 15,000h – brought it down safely at 21:04. It came to rest, listing to starboard, on runway 16L.

ENAC says the twinjet was evacuated by slides but there were no injuries among the 151 passengers and five crew members.

ANSV has ordered an immediate inspection of the three-year old aircraft, and has yet to disclose any findings about the event.

The circumstances bear similarities to a Wizz Air A320 landing accident, also at Fiumicino, on 8 June.

European safety authorities had previously warned about the possibility of debris in the actuator hindering the opening of the main-gear doors on the A320 family, and had ordered checks on the components. Airbus also introduced a new actuator.

After the Wizz accident the European Aviation Safety Agency issued an emergency directive noting that the checks might be inadequate on certain aircraft configurations, and revising the inspection regime. EASA put forward a proposal to tighten the checks further on 25 September.