A puzzling tragedy happened at an airport in Guinea on Friday night, leading to two deaths…
Two dead in TAP A320neo incident at Conakry Airport
This incident happened on Friday, September 2, 2022, and involves TAP Air Portugal flight TP1492 from Lisbon, Portugal (LIS), to Conakry, Guinea (CKY). The roughly 2,000-mile flight was operated by a TAP Air Portugal Airbus A320neo, and was scheduled to depart at 7:10PM and arrive at 10:45PM.
The flight was uneventful until landing. Shortly after 11:30PM local time (the flight was delayed), the plane touched down at Ahmed Sékou Touré International Airport, where it collided with a motorcycle that was on the runway. The motorcycle ended up being dragged by the plane, and part of it got stuck in the engine cowling. The plane was badly damaged, while the motorcycle was damaged to the point that it was unrecognizable.
The motorcycle had two people on it, and tragically both died. There are photos of the damage of the plane — I won’t embed them as they’re pretty graphic, but you can find them in this link (you can see blood on the engines, and more).
TAP Air Portugal has expressed its condolences to the two people who died, and the Civil Aviation Authority of Guinea has opened an investigation into the incident.
The TAP A320neo is still in Guinea, and I imagine it will be there for quite some time, as the plane presumably needs a new engine, and more. The plane involved in the incident has the registration code CS-TVI, and it’s a pretty new plane that was just delivered to the airline in March 2021.
How could an incident like this happen?!
Airports are generally tightly secured areas, especially around runways. How could an incident like this happen? It’s reported that the driver of the motorcycle was a “security guard, employee of a company in charge of securing the airport fence.”
So this wasn’t a case of someone breaking into the airport and then acting recklessly — instead this motorcycle had at least one person who was on duty and working at the airport at the time. One still has to wonder how exactly you could be struck by an airplane. Planes make lots of noise and have lights, so it’s hard to envision how this could be an accident (which isn’t to say that it wasn’t an accident, but…).
I’m curious what comes of this investigation. It’s hard to imagine the pilots had any fault in this, and for that matter a spokesperson for TAP Air Portugal states that “all safety procedures were complied with.” Should air traffic controllers have had knowledge of the motorcycle? That remains to be seen…
An unusual incident happened at Conakry Airport on Friday night, as a TAP Air Portugal A320neo hit a motorcycle while landing. The motorcycle ended up being dragged, killing two people, and causing bad damage to the plane.
What a tragic situation. I still don’t really get how something like this could happen, so I’m curious to see what an investigation reveals.
What do you make of this incident at Conakry Airport?
(Featured image courtesy of Anna Zvereva)