Lufthansa Cargo MD11 at Buenos Aires on Nov 10th 2016, dropped left nose wheel upon touchdown

Last Update: November 1, 2018 / 18:52:34 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Nov 10, 2016


Aircraft Registration

ICAO Type Designator

A Lufthansa Cargo McDonnell Douglas MD-11, registration D-ALCM performing freight flight LH-8273 from Curitiba,PR (Brazil) to Buenos Aires Ezeiza,BA (Argentina) with 2 crew, departed Curitiba's runway 33 and landed on Buenos Aires' runway 29 about 2 hours later. The aircraft came to a stop with the left nose wheel missing from the nose gear. The aircraft received substantial damage to the fuselage.

Argentina's JIAAC initially reported the left nose tyre burst, rated the occurrence an accident, dispatched investigators on site and opened an investigation.

On Nov 11th 2016 the JIAAC reported that upon touchdown at Ezeiza the entire left nose wheel separated from the nose gear leg.

On Apr 3rd 2017 Germany's BFU reported in their November bulletin that a nosewheel separated and damaged a brakes line as well as the belly of the aircraft. Germany is assisting the investigation by Argentina's JIAAC.

Planespotters Ezeiza (Aviones En Ezeiza) report the entire left nose wheel separated from the nose gear and penetrated the fuselage.

On Oct 31st 2018 Argentina's JIAAC released their final report in Spanish only (Editorial note: to serve the purpose of global prevention of the repeat of causes leading to an occurrence an additional timely release of all occurrence reports in the only world spanning aviation language English would be necessary, a Spanish only release does not achieve this purpose as set by ICAO annex 13 and just forces many aviators to waste much more time and effort each in trying to understand the circumstances leading to the occurrence. Aviators operating internationally are required to read/speak English besides their local language, investigators need to be able to read/write/speak English to communicate with their counterparts all around the globe). The report concludes:

During landing roll when the nose gear touched down the left nose wheel completely detached due to the following factors:

- lack of safety lock on spacer
- lack of supervision and quality control at Dakar stopover

The JIAAC reported the aircraft landed normally on Ezeiza's runway 29. After lowering the nose gear onto the runway with weight coming onto the nose gear the left nose wheel separated, the crew felt a bump like driving through a big drop about 3 seconds after lowering the nose gear. The aircraft vacated the runway and taxied towards the apron when the crew noticed an issue. The aircraft sustained substantial damage.

The investigation reports that after the wheel separated it bounced repeatedly between runway surface and belly of the aircraft and eventually was ejected and went off the runway. A search for the wheel remained unsuccessful for 10 days, then the wheel was located 1100 meters from the threshold of runway 29, about 180 meters to the left of the runway center line. It had come to rest about 10 meters inside a thicket, it was in good condition with its fastening set installed and without visible damage.

The investigation reported the left nose wheel had been replaced during a stop over in Dakar. Lufthansa carried out the wheel change and verified the correct operation of the wheel.

The JIAAC analysed that neithre maintenance personnel nor crew had any opportunity to detect the missing locking mechanism, that would lock the fixing assembly and the nose gear shaft together preventing the spacer and assembly to unscrew itself as the landing direction of the aircraft conincides with the direction of unscrewing on the left nose wheel. The separation of the wheel therefore was caused by a deficient maintenance task.
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Nov 10, 2016


Aircraft Registration

ICAO Type Designator

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