Over the summer we learned that an American Airlines plane involved in an April 2019 incident will never fly again, and there’s now an interesting update to that, as we’re seeing what’s involved in the scrapping of this plane.
What happened to this American Airlines A321?
On April 10, 2019, a pretty terrifying incident happened on American Airlines flight AA300 from New York to Los Angeles. The flight was operated by an Airbus A321 that was built in 2014, with the registration code N114NN.
Long story short, the plane “rolled” to the left as it took off, causing the left wing to hit something during takeoff. However, the pilots didn’t realize it for quite a while — as the plane passed through 20,000 feet, the pilots informed air traffic control of their intention to return to the airport.
As the pilots described it to the controller, the plane “had a strong roll to the left,” and the plane was fine but they just wanted to “return to Kennedy to have them check it out.” In the meantime the crew informed passengers that they were returning to the airport because there was a computer malfunction.
If you want to hear the air traffic control audio of the incident, you can do so here:
This Airbus A321 will be scrapped
In July @xJonNYC reported that the American A321 involved in this incident will never fly again. We learned that some of the plane parts will be removed and reused, while the rest of the plane will be scrapped.
some unconfirmed details:
-A/C lessor agreed to swap N992AU (A/C 992) for 796 in JFK. don’t believe it will exit service but it’s just a paperwork exercise so AAL will actually own 796.
So now that AAL owns the A/C, they’re robbing the entire IFE system this week, and it looks..
— JonNYC (@xJonNYC) July 25, 2020
In late 2019 American Airlines had confirmed to me that the NTSB was still investigating the incident, and that the intent was for the plane to eventually return to service, so clearly this represented a change in direction.
American has been tight-lipped about this incident, so it’s unknown how exactly the decision to scrap the plane came about, or what was determined:
- Did it take nearly 15 months to come to the conclusion that the plane couldn’t be repaired economically?
- Did coronavirus play a part in the decision to just scrap the plane, since American is retiring many planes anyway?
One thing is for sure — clearly this incident was much more serious than many people had assumed at the time.
This is quite a contrast to the Delta 757 that had a very rough landing in the Azores in August 2019. Due to the amount of damage to the fuselage, many speculated that the plane would never fly again. However, the plane was able to be ferried back to the US just over a month after the incident, and by December 2019 it was back in service.
The fuselage of a Delta 757 was seriously damaged
In April 2019 an American Airlines Airbus A321 had an incident departing JFK, whereby the plane banked left during takeoff, and struck something. The plane returned to JFK, and initially it seemed like this wasn’t a huge deal.
However, that wasn’t the case. The plane has been out of service since the incident, and will be scrapped. There are now even pictures of various parts of the plane being reused, and it can’t help but make me sad to see such a beautiful plane in this condition.
Unfortunately we haven’t learned many other details about what exactly happened to cause this incident.
Are you surprised to see American Airlines scrapping this plane?