Japanese investigators have yet to reach conclusions over a Boeing 747-400F hard-landing event, during a go-around at Tokyo Narita, which was found to have damaged the aircraft.

The UPS aircraft (N580UP) had been conducting an approach to runway 16L after arriving from Shanghai Pudong on 6 May last year.

Weather conditions at the time included variable 16kt winds, gusting to 30kt, generating crosswinds from the right, with possible windshear for 16L.

Just before touchdown the aircraft had to abort the landing, says the Japan Transport Safety Board, because “its speed had significantly decreased”.

“During the go-around the aircraft touched down hard on the runway,” it adds.

The aircraft became airborne again and subsequently landed on runway 16R about 20min later.

flap-track fairing crack N580UP-c-JTSB

Source: JTSB

Flap-track fairing cracks found during a damage inspection on the UPS 747-400F

Three crew members were on board the 747.

According to the inquiry the crew carried out a post-flight inspection and discovered that the right-hand inboard aileron and flap were “interfering” with one another.

But a series of subsequent inspections, it says, found “deformation” in the fuselage and the aft pressure bulkhead, and cracks in a flap-track fairing.

The inquiry states that the full extent of damage to the cargo jet was only confirmed on 26 May, at which point investigators were notified.

“We have conducted oral interviews with related parties, inspected the aircraft, and collected information from the designer and manufacturer,” it adds.

Investigations into the cause, and development of measures to prevent recurrence, are still progressing.

Powered by GE Aerospace CF6 engines, the aircraft was originally delivered as a freighter to Cargolux in 1995.