Investigation Ongoing After US Airways Jet Hit Runway Lights

Investigation Ongoing After US Airways Jet Hit Runway Lights
Picture from US Airways A321 / US Airways Website

Federal safety officials are in the middle of investigating an incident involving a U.S. Airways jet hitting runway lights as it tried to land at the Douglas International Airport in Charlotte, North Carolina Saturday evening. A statement from U.S. Airways’ parent company American Airlines to NBC 11 Alive said that the captain had discovered damage to the underside of the Airbus A321 aircraft upon landing and deplaning in Charlotte.


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The flight carried 153 passengers as well as six crew members. No injuries among the passengers or crew members were reported. Nonetheless, the plane was taken out of service following the incident. Meanwhile, in an AP report published by WTNH NEWS8, it was revealed that American Airlines Group Inc. was the one who notified the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) about the recent incident.

Wind shear caused jet to hit the lights and abort initial landing

The pilots of Airbus A321 aircraft reported wind shear as they were attempting to land. This resulted in the jet striking some runway lights and in turn, causing damage to the underside of the plane’s tail. The U.S. Airways jet then aborted the landing, pulled up, circled and landed safely.

An FAA spokesman had said that the Charlotte airport closed the runway as workers found debris and the lights were damaged. Nonetheless, no other flights were affected.

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Investigation in progress

Meanwhile, the NTSB said that its laboratory in Washington D.C. is currently downloading and analyzing the U.S. Airways jet’s flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder, according to The Dallas Morning News. Moreover, the agency said that its investigation will also involve examining weather conditions at the time of the incident as well as “airplane performance and operational factors.”