Ryanair Boeing 737 landing gear penetrates wing upon retraction
A Ryanair Boeing 737-800 suffered from an unusual incident on the 29th of January, 2019, which saw the left landing gear strut penetrate the wing upon retraction.
The aircraft, registered EI-GXG, was performing flight FR5214 from Frankfurt Hahn to Bari when the accident occurred. It wasn’t until the pilots selected the gear up command upon takeoff that they realized something was wrong. With no gear gear up indication, the pilots climbed to 10,000 feet and circled before descending back to Frankfurt Hahn approximately 40 minutes later.
Engineers discovered that the left main landing gear had penetrated the wing of the aircraft, which would have been visible to passengers and cabin crew inflight, but not the pilots.
A person familiar with the Boeing 737 by occupation commented on the accident, stating that a beam hanger appeared to have disconnected from the beam hanger fitting, which can subsequently cause the retract actuator/walking beam assembly to rotate upwards when the pilots executed gear retraction.
With an investigation opened concerning the accident, the full cause and description of what happened will be released once complete.
For those questioning the use of the word “accident”, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) defines the word as the following:
“An occurrence associated with the operation of an aircraft that takes place between the time any person boards the aircraft with the intention of flight and all such persons have disembarked, and in which any person suffers death or serious injury, or in which the aircraft receives substantial damage.”
Although not completely clear whether this accident is substantial or not, it did result in the damage of two critical areas, that being the wing and landing gear.