Thai Airways has said that its fleet of Airbus A330-300s have had landing gear malfunctions prior to the incident on Sunday at Suvarnabhumi airport.
The airline was forced to deal with reports after a problem with landing equipment on a flight back from Guangzhou skidded off the runway, hospitalising dozens of people.
We are aware of an A330 incident with @ThaiAirways in Bangkok and stand ready to fully support investigations
— Airbus (@Airbus) September 9, 2013
The Bangkok Post has spoken to the company’s executive vice president, flight lieutenant Montree Jumrieng who said that preliminary testing of the accident showed that the incident was caused by a defective bogie beam on the jet’s landing gear.
The piece is meant to connect the wheels to the landing equipment horizontally, allowing it to pivot when in operation.
Jumrieng told the Post that Airbus had warned Thai of the potential problem and recommended close surveillance on the A330-300 aircraft.
Fracture of a MLG bogie beam under high speed could ultimately result in the aeroplane departing the runway
A European Aviation Security Authority (EASA) directive said: “Fracture of a MLG bogie beam under high speed could ultimately result in the aeroplane departing the runway, or in the bogie detaching from the aeroplane, or MLG collapse, which could cause structural damage to the aeroplane and injury to the occupants.”
The EASA directive in June 2011 ordered a reduction in the equipment’s life-cycle to ten years.
The Thai Airways bogie beam had been installed in 2004 so wasn’t due for replacement, according to the directive’s terms, until next year. However, Jumrieng said, it had been checked every two years as a precautionary measure.
The jet was last inspected in February last year.
The aircraft was removed from the runway yesterday – with rain delaying earlier efforts. The runway was reopened at 20:10.