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RAF investigates Voyager wing strike incident

The UK Royal Air Force is conducting an occurrence safety investigation (OSI) after one of its Airbus A330 Voyager tanker-transports received minor damage during a ground manoeuvring incident in Canada last month. The mishap followed the arrival of aircraft ZZ331 at St John’s, Newfoundland from RAF Brize Norton in the UK on 19 December.

“Whilst taxiing to its parking bay under the guidance of ground handling staff, the aircraft’s wing struck a hangar,” parliamentary under secretary of state Lord Astor of Hever said in response to a parliamentary question on 28 January.

“It would be inappropriate to comment further on the cause until the OSI is completed,” he adds, while noting: “the damage caused was relatively minor.”

One of eight Voyagers operated by the RAF’s 10 and 101 squadrons, ZZ331 (below) was built in 2009 and is a KC2-variant example, fitted with under-wing hose-and-drogue refuelling pods. Powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 772B-60 engines, it has a 291 seat capacity.

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AirTanker also uses one additional Voyager without military equipment installed to provide air transport services to the RAF, including on the UK to Falkland Islands route.

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