Earlier this week, a LATAM Brazil Airbus A320 suffered a bird strike after departing the country’s federal capital, Brasília. This led to multiple system faults, forcing the flight to return to the airport. But what exactly happened to the stricken aircraft and its delayed passengers?
The flight in question
LATAM Brazil flight JJ3080 is a scheduled domestic service that departs thrice-weekly (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) from Brasília–Presidente Juscelino Kubitschek International Airport (BSB). Its destination is Teresina–Senador Petrônio Portella Airport (THE), in northeastern Brazil.
According to AirNav RadarBox, flight JJ3080’s scheduled departure time is 20:35 local time. With a planned duration of two hours and 10 minutes, arrival in Teresina is scheduled for 22:45. Alongside LATAM Brazil, local low-cost carrier GOL also provides competition on this route.
On January 25th, LATAM Brazil flight JJ3080 departed Brasília slightly late, at 20:47 local time. However, this delay would be further compounded shortly after takeoff. According to The Aviation Herald, its crew “reported a bird strike causing unreliable airspeed” while it was climbing out from Brasília’s runway 29R.
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The bird strike caused various system faults, resulting in such indications as “ADIRU1, ADM2, ADR2, AFS1, EFCS1, EFCS2, SEC2 (complaining about ADR1) and SEC3 (complaining about ADR3).” As a result, the crew stopped the climb at 9,000 feet, and entered a holding pattern. This allowed them to run through the necessary precautionary checklists. The aircraft then returned to Brasília, safely touching down on runway 29R at 21:30 local time, after 43 minutes in the air.
The aircraft involved
The aircraft involved in this incident was an Airbus A320, which bears the registration PR-MYV. According to Planespotters.net, this aircraft is 8.6 years old, with TAM first taking delivery of it in July 2012. With a reported all-economy capacity of 174 seats on this aircraft, the flight’s 150 passengers gave it a comparatively healthy load factor of 86.2%.
Following the incident, RadarBox reports that the aircraft remained on the ground for almost 24 hours, eventually re-entering service the following evening. LATAM Brazil dispatched a replacement A320 to ferry the flight’s passengers to Teresina.
This aircraft bore the registration PR-MBA, and is nearly 15 years old. It departed Brasília two hours behind schedule, and eventually touched down in Teresina with a delay of just over 90 minutes at 00:17 local time. This aircraft spent three months out of service in 2019, after a belt loader caught fire in its vicinity, damaging the rear baggage hold.
LATAM Brazil’s Airbus A320 fleet hasn’t had the best start to 2021. Indeed, this incident is the third that Simple Flying has reported on this month. On January 7th, PR-MYK had to divert after striking a capybara while departing São Paulo Guarulhos. Then, last week, PR-TYA had to abort its takeoff following an engine failure at São Paulo Congonhas.
What do you make of this incident? Have you ever flown on a LATAM Airbus A320? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments.