A Qatar Airways Boeing 777 sustained “substantial” damage after striking approach runway lights while taking off from Miami International airport on 15 September, according to the US Federal Aviation Administration.
The aircraft, which was operating Qatar flight 778, “struck the approach lighting system runway lights,” says the FAA in a preliminary report.
The aircraft continued to its destination of Doha Hamad International airport and landed without incident, says the report says.
After landing, an “inspection revealed damage to underbelly of aircraft described as substantial,” it adds. The incident occurred at about 16:30 Miami time, according to the FAA.
“Qatar… reported to the FAA that they found some dents and scratches on the belly of flight 778, a Boeing 777,” the agency says in a statement to Flightglobal.
The FAA referred further questions to Qatar’s civil aviation authority, but the agency could not immediately be reached for comment.
The US National Transportation Safety Board is looking into the event. The agency classifies events that result in “substantial” damage as accidents.
“We are gathering information,” the NTSB tells Flightglobal. “We have not launched an investigation, but we have investigators gathering information to determine the extent of the damage.”
Qatar Airways did not immediately comment.
The Miami International airport referred questions back to the FAA.