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Mon, Nov 21, 2022

LATAM A320neo Collides With Fire Truck On Takeoff

Two Firefighters Killed, No Passenger Fatalities

A questionable set of circumstances, occurred Friday as a LATAM A320neo, the first major airframe loss of the type, collided with a fire truck that pulled out on to a runway in Lima, Peru, as the airliner was engaged in taking off.

The LATAM Perú Flight 2213 was on a scheduled flight from Lima to Juliaca. The Airbus A320neo was taking off from Jorge Chávez International Airport when it collided with a fire truck that approached and encroached on the runway with sirens running, killing two firefighters and injuring a third. The full compliment of 102 passengers and six crew aboard the A320neo escaped, with 24 known injuries.

The aircraft departed runway 16 at 1511, local time, but well down the runway, several CFR vehicles crossed the runway in front of the flight.... seemingly offering little or no options for the flight crew to react. The aircraft's right engine separated due to contact with the fire truck while the right landing gear collapsed. Social media video reports show the five year old aircraft leaning over aggressively on its right side while continuing down the runway in flames.

The aircraft reportedly came to a stop some 8200 feet down the runway with the right side and rear fuselage fairly well engulfed in flame. Lima airport was closed for the better part of Two days due to the accident. Killed were aeronautical firefighters, Ángel Torres and Nicolás Santa Gadea. A third firefighter, Manuel Villanueva, was treated in a medical center.

As weird as this accident appears, more weirdness ensued after the aircraft came to rest and the passengers evacuated or treated.

According to IFALPA, "The flight crew of LATAM 2213 were also placed under arrest and held in custody in Lima up until (Saturday) night. The Federation considers this situation unacceptable. Holding individuals in custody who are already under intense psychological pressure due to an accident is extremely detrimental to flight safety and can only hinder the investigation. Further, it shows a complete disregard for the Positive Safety Culture principles laid out by Annexes 13 (Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation) and 19 (Safety Management) to the Convention on International Civil Aviation. It may also lead the public to conclude that the accident resulted from the flight crew’s intentional acts, rather than technical issues or a string of errors originating from multiple factors.

In any similar circumstances, the flight crew should be provided immediate medical care and evaluation. In no circumstances is it appropriate to question them in the immediate aftermath of any accident or incident until they have been professionally evaluated by qualified medical personnel who can determine their mental and physical fitness to contribute accurate information to investigators." The International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations which represents more than 100,000 pilots in nearly 100 countries, urged the Republic of Peru to adhere to and fully implement ICAO's positive safety culture principles, especially in the wake of such a tragic accident.

FMI: www.latamairlines.com, www.ifalpa.org

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