Video: Iberia A340 Has Scary Aborted Landing In Quito

The Aviation Herald has the story of what looks like quite a scary go around that happened at Quito Airport on Saturday, August 11, 2018:

An Iberia Airbus A340-600, registration EC-LEU performing flight IB-6453 from Madrid,SP (Spain) to Quito (Ecuador), touched down on Quito’s runway 18 when the crew initiated a go around. The aircraft entered a hold for about 20 minutes, positioned for another approach to runway 18 and landed about 30 minutes after the go around. One of the body gear tyres was found blown after landing.

Here’s a (poor quality) video of the incident:

I’m not even sure what’s scariest about that — how hard the plane lands, the blown tire, the angle of the plane as it starts to climb again, or what.

Quito Airport is known to be difficult to land at. The airport is at an altitude of almost 10,000 feet, so planes have to be coming in at a much higher speed than usual on approach, making landings here difficult. Add in the fact that it can get windy, and you’re looking at a challenging airport.

And this airport is still much easier than Quito’s old airport, which closed a few years back. In 2007 an Iberia A340-600 overran the runway at the airport. While there were no fatalities, the plane had to be written off, and to this day it’s the only A340 that Iberia has had to write off.

It’s tough to say how close this was to being a serious incident, though I can certainly say that I’m happy I wasn’t on that flight!

Comments

  1. Still a difficult approach because of the altitude. Just being nitpicky. I happen to know the right altitude because I was there 3 months ago.

  2. I dont really see the big deal. It was a really hard landing, plane bounced, pilot went around. 1 popped tire nothing else.

    This isnt so rare and while doesnt happen often, it happens with all airlines/planes/airports.

    At no point do I see the sharp “angle” or almost hitting the engine as you and some commenters said.

    Yeah it was a ruff landing but everything else is by procedure. Crew are trained to go around after a bumped landing and it looks like a perfectly normal go around

  3. Not the same airport as in 2007. Quito got a new airport in a completely different location, which entered service only in 2012/13. The new airport is only at 2400 meters above sea level, in Tababela, about 20km from Quito and about 400 meters lower than the city center.

    It is still not easy to approach, but the runway is longer now and has no gradient.

  4. I travel to UIO quite a bit. And I used to fly into the old airport as well (I have a nostalgic fondness for it, lol). The new airport is, as someone pointed out, much lower in altitude than Quito proper. In actuality the new location (while still presenting some challenges) is FAR easier and more routine than the old which was in the middle of the city, at 10K feet, and with a very short runway. I have talked to a few of the AA pilots when traveling to the new UIO and they said it’s pretty boring now with just a few established turns to drop into the valley. Seems to me that the Iberia A340 just came in way too fast as the valley there is miles long and wide and has plenty of room for a standard final approach.

  5. I dunno about too fast. Looks to me (as a pilot) like he ran out of energy ie perhaps too slow, which is hard to do on an Airbus, as it smashed into the runway extremely hard even after raising the nose in the flare. That’s the hardest landing I’ve seen on video, maybe ever, but it’s camera perspective perhaps?. You can see from the smoke also of the tires. Luckily it was ultimately safe!

  6. I lived in Quito from 2013 to February of this year and flew often. Like others have said, the new airport is much lower in elevation than stated in the article and is a cakewalk compared to the old airport. The old airport was much higher, more fog prone, shorter runway, and surrounded by tall apartment buildings that hindered the approach from the south. The new airport is much lower, less fog prone, longer runway, and is built in a valley outside the city with a long clear approach to land. It seems here that this was more a case of pilot error than the actual airport being unsafe.

  7. I am based in Quito and travel by plane at least twice a month and it always is an adventure. take off as well as landing. When the plane starts climbing there are mountains on the left and right of the plane leaving no room for mistakes or early turn arounds. Sweaty palms are a routine travel companion when using the UIO airport. I am so happy I was not on that plane, I would probably not have survived the stress off the aborted landing haha

  8. In Spain there is a northern city, Bilbao object if very strong lateral winds, these Kind of landings or worse are usual and the shoutings in cabin Also he he glups

  9. QUI/SEQM is listed as 7,910 MSL and has a 13,345 ft runway aligned 18/36. Looks like he landed at 174kts. I don’t know what the vRef speed is for a 340-600 but when I looked up the same flight and tail for 05-Aug, looks like they also were landing at around ~175kts. I think @Andy had it right, he looks like he was 8,250 GPS ALT and 174 kts then let it fall out of the sky on to the runway before doing laps for another 30 mins before coming back to Quito.

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