This week, a water-supply truck found itself wedged beneath a fairly new Wizz Air Airbus A320neo in Gdańsk, Poland. The aircraft was being prepared for a flight to Stockholm, Sweden, when the incident took place.
According to the Polish website Trojmiasto.pl, the unusual occurrence took place at Gdańsk’s Lech Wałęsa Airport, just before flight W61731 was departing for Stockholm. The source notes that the incident took place on Thursday morning. However, data from FlightRadar24.com suggests that the incident aircraft, HA-LJB, was preparing for the Gdańsk-Stockholm trip on January 5th, with no Wizz Air services taking place for this route on Thursdays.
During the preparation of the aircraft for departure, a ground services vehicle responsible for supply the aircraft’s water sustained damage as it reportedly caught on the jet’s landing gear while reversing. The airport’s fire brigade was dispatched, with an ambulance called as well.
#Incidente Un Airbus A320neo (HA-LJB) entregado a #WizzAir en julio del 2020, colisionó con un camión en el aeropuerto de Gdansk, Polonia. De acuerdo con fuentes locales al momento del choque la aeronave y el vehículo se encontraban vacíos, por lo que nadie resultó herido. pic.twitter.com/C8TcK7flcp
— EnElAire (@En_ElAire) January 7, 2021
The source notes that the truck, belonging to an airport handling agent, has been destroyed, although the driver was uninjured. No passengers were on the aircraft.
The photos above clearly confirm the damage sustained by the vehicle, with its frame and chassis warped. Judging by these photos, it looks like the truck reversed too much as it was positioning itself- however, this has not been confirmed.
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What happened to the aircraft?
An airport spokesperson told Trojmiasto.pl that a replacement aircraft was arranged for the flight. Data from FlightRadar24.com confirms that HA-LJB, the aircraft involved, hasn’t made any subsequent flights from Gdánsk since the incident.
The extent of the aircraft’s damage has not been made public, but it’s been noted that a technical inspection will need to take place before the plane returns to service.
HA-LJB is a nearly-new aircraft, having been delivered to Wizz Air from Airbus facilities in Toulouse at the end of July 2020. The A320neo is configured for 186 passengers in an all-economy layout and is powered by Pratt & Whitney engines.
Other notable ground vehicle collisions with aircraft
Unfortunately, events like this happen from time to time and are largely due to human error. Here are some previous instances as reported by Simple Flying:
- June 2020: A LATAM Airbus A350 was damaged due to a collision with a luggage transportation vehicle at São Paulo/Guarulhos airport in Brazil. The ground vehicle struck the right-hand engine cowling.
- August 2020: An Aeroflot Airbus A321 sustained damage when a fuel truck collided with it at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport. The truck and its cabin were left crumpled and half-flattened beneath the A321. A long crack appears just behind the aircraft’s radome.
Simple Flying reached out to Wizz Air’s communications team for a comment or statement on the incident. At the time of publication, no response has been received.
What do you think happened here? What did the driver do to get his vehicle stuck underneath this aircraft? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.