Investigators are trying to ascertain the extent of damage sustained by a Turkish Airlines Airbus A320, apparently during an initial landing attempt before the aircraft executed a go-around at Istanbul Ataturk.
While the aircraft subsequently landed safely – albeit with a runway excursion and apparent gear collapse – there is evidence that it had been flying with substantial damage to its starboard wing and International Aero Engines V2500 powerplant.
The airline says all 97 passengers on flight TK1878 evacuated safely after the aircraft, arriving from Milan on 25 April, came to rest.
“Necessary investigation has been started to clarify the causes of the incident,” says the carrier.
Publicly-available automatic dependent surveillance data indicates that the aircraft initially made an approach to runway 05. Meteorological data for the time of the event indicates a slight crosswind but good weather conditions.
But the crew aborted the landing and turned south over the Sea of Marmara before attempting a second approach to the longer runway 35L some 20min later.
Images of the aircraft in flight show flames appearing to emanate from the starboard engine. Subsequent photographs also indicate substantial structural damage to the inboard trailing edge, a missing starboard exhaust nozzle, a displaced winglet, and the starboard main landing-gear out of its normal position.
Video images of the touchdown indicate that this main gear assembly was unable to prevent the right-hand engine from contacting the runway. The aircraft – registered TC-JPE and bearing the colour scheme of Star Alliance, of which Turkish Airlines is a member – left the runway as it slowed, and ground-looped.