Tail of Ryanair jet strikes runway

Take-off incident in Krakow under investigation

Ryanair spokesman Robin Kiely said an inspection after the incident revealed “a minor scrape on the tail skid”. Photograph: Alan Betson

Ryanair spokesman Robin Kiely said an inspection after the incident revealed “a minor scrape on the tail skid”. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

A Ryanair jet returned safely to Krakow in Poland 25 minutes after its tail struck the runway on taking off last Sunday. There was a delay of eight hours before a replacement aircraft flew the 127 passengers to Dublin.

Tail-strikes are a common cause of aircraft damage although aircraft have a built-in “bumper” cartridge or skid to absorb much of the force of contact with the runway. Ryanair spokesman Robin Kiely said an inspection afterwards revealed “a minor scrape on the tail skid”.

There was no further damage to the aircraft, Mr Kiely added.

Tail-strikes can be caused by taking off at too slow a speed or by energetic handling of the aircraft’s control column on take-off, although errors in the distribution of baggage and passengers can be a contributory factor. Weather conditions can also be a consideration.

“Ryanair is fully co-operating with investigating authorities in order to establish the cause of the incident,” Mr Kiely said.

The Aircraft Accident Investigation Unit of the Department of Transport in Dublin said any inquiry will be a matter for the Polish aviation authorities.