Boeing has sent a team of specialists to Saudi Arabia to assist with investigating an incident in which a Saudi Arabian Airlines 777-200ER suffered damage to its starboard wing during a service to Riyadh last week.
While details of the incident are sketchy, the aircraft was operating the domestic Jeddah-Riyadh route on 10 March.
Video images recorded by a passenger on board the aircraft clearly show a structural component protruding through the upper wing surface, forward of the aircraft’s inboard spoilers.
The location of the damage suggests it has occurred directly above the area where the starboard main landing-gear leg meets the wing.
Flight's cutaway of a Boeing 777
Commentary accompanying the video indicates that the there was a loud bang next to the passenger’s window a few minutes before landing. It is unclear whether this coincided with the extension of the undercarriage.
The video images show the flaps in landing configuration and various spoilers responding as the aircraft touches down; one of the outboard spoilers appears to stay in its deployed position, while some others remain stowed. There is also evidence of spray suggesting loss of hydraulic fluid from severed lines.
A spokesman for Boeing’s 777 programme says: “We are aware of an incident with a Saudi Arabian Airlines 777 that occurred upon landing recently.
At the invitation of the Saudi Arabian authorities, Boeing has sent a team to assist in the investigation.”
Neither Saudi Arabian Airlines nor the General Authority of Civil Aviation, the kingdom’s air transport regulator, could be reached for comment.
Unconfirmed indications point to the aircraft being an 11-year old example registered HZ-AKB. The carrier owns all of its 777s; the Saudi fleet is powered by General Electric GE90 engines.
Source: Air Transport Intelligence news