23rd May 1995

Plane scrapes the runway at Jersey Airport

A DC-8 flying into Jersey came in with its nose too high and its tail too low. The tail struck the runway and scraped along it for several feet before tipping back up as the front landing gear bumped down on the runway.

It was obvious from the outside where it had struck the ground as paint was missing where the fuselage bent to link the tail and main body. This was too low for it to strike the tail bumper, which was later removed, but engineers judged that it was safe to fly unpressured on the next few legs of its planned route, so long as a further inspection was carried out after every landing.

Another round-trip

Thus, it headed for Paris, then back from Paris to Bristol by way of another stop-off in Jersey. After that, it was grounded until the damage could be repaired.

None of the 44 passengers or four crew onboard were hurt, but the plane was damaged and had to undergo an inspection. However, it was an unusual incident in that it happened when the aircraft was coming in to land, not when it was taking off, which is when it would be more likely to adopt an angle that would put the tail on the ground. The manufacturer had never registered such an incident before.


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