After bizarre accident, Latam removes horizontal stabilizer from Boeing 787 in Colombia

Boeing 787-8 had the fuselage damaged by a towing vehicle in May. Carrier said the aircraft is undergoing a “maintenance process”

A LATAM Chile Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner less than 10 years old was seen with part of the tail removed in Bogotá, Colombia. The aircraft registered CC-BBF appears in the image without the vertical stabilizer and with a crane positioned next to it.

The Chilean widebody suffered an unusual accident in May when it was being towed at El Dorado Airport. The tug towbar broke and the vehicle lost control, ending up under the fuselage of the Boeing.

Surface damage was extensive, but did not indicate such severity. The Dreamliner, however, is an aircraft that uses composite material structures extensively.

Unlike what was previously stated in this article, LATAM stated that the aircraft is undergoing a “maintenance process”. An aircraft with cutting-edge technology, the Dreamliner has been in service since 2011 and its fleet is therefore quite new.

The airline, however, did not explain what was being done to the aircraft as the damage did not involve the tail of the 787, as far as is known.

To date, only two 787s have been scrapped and flown by Norwegian Air. The jets had been stored for four years at Glasgow Airport, in Scotland. In these cases, the jets were flightworthy, but their owner was unable to find customers for them.

Two plane-vehicle crashes in six months

The Boeing 787-8 CC-BBF was delivered to Lan Chile in June 2014 through leasing with AerCap.

The former Boeing 787 of registration LN-LNA already without engines in Scotland (Ronnie MacDonald)

It is the second modern aircraft that LATAM has seen involved in a collision with service vehicles at airports within a few months.

On November 18 last year, an A320neo registration CC-BHB collided with a firefighting truck during the takeoff run at Lima Airport, Peru.

The vehicle crossed the runway inadvertently, being hit by the Airbus’ right engine. The two firefighters died in the accident.

The aircraft, belonging to Avolon, was considered unrecoverable.

Editor’s note: the article has been updated to remove mention of a possible dismantling of the plane.


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