A UPS Boeing 747-400 freighter reportedly slid off the taxiway in Louisville, Kentucky, on Monday afternoon. The weather in the area was poor at the time. Luckily, any damage to the plane was slight, and the aircraft was back in the air the following day.
Poor weather in Louisville on Monday
Simon Hradecky reported the incident in The Aviation Herald on Tuesday. According to the report, the Boeing was taxiing to fly from Louisville to Trenton McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey. The plane’s nose gear went off the paved taxiway and onto the dirt. The aircraft wasn’t damaged and was towed back onto the taxiway.
The Aviation Herald identifies the Boeing 747-400 as N575UP. It was operating flight 5X-1540. Flight data company, RadarBox, lists that flight to depart Louisville just after 13:00 local time on Monday.
The daytime temperature averaged just 48° Fahrenheit on Monday, and snow was falling throughout the day. The Boeing 747 was accessing runway 35L via taxiway B when the incident occurred. The plane reportedly slid and the nose gear left the taxiway. At this point, part of the 747’s wing was already over the runway. Air traffic control subsequently closed the runway. N575UP was pulled by a tug back onto the taxiway and towed back to the hangar.
There is no record of flight 5X-1540 operating on Monday. However, the Boeing 747-400 suffered little or no damage as it was back in the air the following day, using the same flight number and heading across to New Jersey.
As Boeing 747-400s go, N575UP is a relative spring chicken. The plane is just 12.7 years old. It has spent its entire flying life at UPS, first landing there in June 2008. This is the first recorded incident involving the aircraft.
The plane is one of 33 Boeing 747-400s UPS currently operates. Overall, UPS has 277 aircraft in its fleet. With such a big fleet, and many of the planes much older than their 747s, several minor incidents have been recorded against the UPS fleet in the past six months.
A few minor incidents involving UPS aircraft in recent months
Earlier this month, a UPS Boeing 757-200 flying from Fort Myers to Huntsville turned around due to disagreeing airspeeds. Just after Christmas, another UPS Boeing 757-200, this time flying from Louisville to San Juan declared an emergency after losing the left hydraulic system. On December 19, a UPS MD-11 flying from Louisville to Seattle returned to Louisville after fumes were detected in the cabin and the crew had to put on oxygen masks. Earlier in December, a UPS Boeing 767-300 freighter flying from Dublin to Cologne declared a PAN PAN after reporting a right-hand engine failure.
In early November, another UPS Boeing 757-200 suffered a bird strike after taking off from Seattle bound for Portland. That incident later saw the aircraft’s left-hand engine was replaced. In mid-October, a UPS A300-600 freighter was approaching Louisville from Orlando when the pilots detected a hydraulic problem and had to wind down the landing gear manually. The brakes locked upon landing, causing several tires to blow. Once stopped, the aircraft didn’t have steering and had to be towed from the runway.
Simple Flying has approached UPS for further information regarding Monday’s incident in Louisville. We have not heard back before publication.