Investigations into a Qatar Airways Boeing 777-300ER’s collision with lighting during departure from Miami will examine whether the intersection take-off played a role in the accident.
The seven-year old aircraft (A7-BAC) struck approach lights while taking off from Miami’s runway 9 at around 20:30 local time on 15 September.
It had been conducting a departure to Doha, as flight QR778, from the T1 intersection which would have reduced the runway length by around 30% to some 2,800m (9,190ft).
The aircraft travelled along taxiway S, running parallel to the runway, before being cleared to line up at the intersection.
This clearance was acknowledged by the 777’s crew, according to air-ground communications from Miami tower.
Investigators have not released any details of the weight and performance calculations, or the thrust settings, used for the departure.
All 777-300ERs are powered by General Electric GE90 engines.
There is no immediate evidence that the crew was aware of the lighting collision with the lighting to air traffic control after the departure.
The US FAA says the aircraft continued to its destination without further incident but that subsequent inspection revealed “substantial” damage to the underside of the fuselage.
Meteorological data for Miami at the time of the departure – which would have taken place after sunset – indicates only light winds, and good visibility, although there was rain in the vicinity.