Airbus and Singapore Airlines (SIA) technical personnel are carrying out detailed landing gear checks on the carrier’s sole Airbus A380 today following a minor incident last night while the aircraft was being towed prior to departure from Singapore Changi airport.

Last night’s incident involved flight SQ221 that operates daily between Singapore and Sydney. SIA says a ground vehicle being used to push back the aircraft “experienced some form of failure which caused the truck to disconnect with the aircraft”.

It adds: “As a consequence of the failure on the truck, the aircraft, an Airbus A380, came into contact with the grass verge off the airport tarmac. The aircraft was not under its own power at the time.”

Passengers were disembarked from the aircraft and many were put on an alternate Boeing 747-400 for the delayed flight, before the A380 was positioned back onto the tarmac for inspections.

The A380 is currently the only one in commercial service and since October it has been operating one round-trip flight per day between Singapore and Sydney. SIA has reported no troubles until now and stresses that although it was the “first incident involving the A380, [the] cause was an issue with the tow-truck, not the aircraft”.

It adds that the aircraft is not required for service until tonight so SIA engineers are “using the opportunity to conduct a fairly detailed assessment of the landing gear with Airbus” technical personnel, “perhaps more detailed than normal because it’s the first requirement to do so”.

SIA is meanwhile preparing to take delivery of its second A380, which could take place today.

Source: Flight International