An Edelweiss Air Airbus A340 experienced a possible windshear incident on take-off from Zurich airport, which nearly sent it back onto the runway.

A 20-year-old A340-300E, the aircraft (HB-JMF) was operating as flight WK24 to Cancun, Mexico on 6 April. 

Edelweiss A340-c-Edelweiss Air

An Edelweiss Air A340 appeared to experience windshear upon take-off at Zurich on 7 April

According to video posted online by Zurich Aviation Channel on YouTube, the aircraft appears to make a normal take-off roll and lift-off.

However, just after the main gear leaves the ground, the aircraft descends, nearly causing the main gear wheels to touch the runway again. The aircraft appears narrowly to avoid a tail strike.

Shortly thereafter, the pilots appear to be able to regain a stable climb out.

“Edelweiss 24, we got a tailwind just on rotation,” one of the pilots informed the tower as the aircraft was climbing, according to a radio exchange archived by LiveATC.

The weather at Zurich airport at the time was clear with light and variable winds.

The aircraft is owned by sister airline Swiss International Air Lines and powered by CFM International CFM56-5C engines

“We are aware of the video mentioned and can confirm its authenticity,” says Edelweiss. ”As far as we know at present, the cause was a sudden tailwind during take-off.”

“We will analyse the flight data over the next few days and reconstruct the course of events. We have received a report from our cockpit crew describing how they experienced the situation and why they acted accordingly,” adds the airline. “This report will also be analysed over the next few days.”

The aircraft arrived safely in Cancun.

Story updated on 8 April 2024 to include comments from Edelweiss.