17 Jun 11 Cargolux 747 Strikes Van During Landing in Luxembourg (Jan 21)

A Cargolux Boeing 747-400 freighter, registration LX-OCV performing flight CV-7933 from Barcelona,SP (Spain) to Luxembourg (Luxembourg) with 3 crew, was cleared to land on Luxembourg's runway 24 in low visibility due to fog (RVR 350 meters), when one of the tyres impacted the roof of a van parked on the runway at 12:53L (11:53Z). The airplane landed safely, the driver of the van escaped with just a shock, the van received substantial damage, the airplane suffered damage to the tyre.

Luxembourg's Ministry of Transport reported, that the van had entered the runway to perform maintenance work at the runway ground lighting. Three investigations have been initiated. The Ministry did not tell, whether the van had been cleared to enter the runway.

First preliminary results of the investigations into the incident were released on Saturday (Jan 23rd) stating, that the van had been cleared to enter the runway to perform maintenance work. At that time the Cargolux Boeing had not yet begun its approach.

On Feb 9th Luxembourg's Ministry of Transport initiated disciplinary action against tower controllers following further results of the investigation into the ocurrence. The investigation confirmed an operating irregularity had occured at the tower when the Boeing 747 received landing clearance despite the runway being occupied by the maintenance workers and their van. In addition, the investigation puts into doubt, that the maintenance work was necessary, particularly at a time when low visibility procedures were in effect.

The NTSB reported on Feb 24th, that CATIIIb conditions prevailed at the time of the landing. The van received substantial, the aircraft minor damage. The 3 crew on board of the aircraft and two maintenance workers on the runway remained uninjured. The occurrence has been rated an accident, the NTSB has assigned an Accredited Representative to participate in the investigation by the Luxembourg Administration Des EnquĂȘtes Techniques.

FMI: AvHerald

Editor: One runway safety strategy is to not have vehicles parked on the runway during maintenance, unless they need to be there. If not, park off to the side in case an aircraft does land.

Fly (and Park) Smart,