Edelweiss A340: Height Loss on Takeoff From Zurich

An Edelweiss Airbus A340 climbs after takeoff.
Anna Zvereva from Tallinn, Estonia, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

An Edelweiss Airbus A340 operating from Zürich, Switzerland experienced a height loss just after rotation on Saturday, April 6.

The Edelweiss Airbus A340-300 was conducting flight WK24 from Zürich Airport (ZRH) to Cancun, Mexico on the afternoon of 6 April.

Edelweiss WK24 Zurich-Cancun

Shortly after rotation from Runway 16 Zürich, the aircraft experienced a period of sink. The loss of altitude was sufficient that the aircraft nearly contacted the runway.

Analysis of video footage from the incident reveals a slight lowering of the aircraft’s nose attitude immediately before the loss of altitude. Windshear is suspected as the cause of the altitude loss.

Having become airborne, operating crew reported experiencing a tailwind during rotation. Investigators have launched an inquiry into the incident. Assessors will examine a possible condition of tailwind gust, or negative windshear.

video via ZRH Aviation Channel

Prevailing Weather Factors

A METAR valid for the flight’s departure from Zürich airport indicated conditions of varying wind direction. Wind readings indicated a variable direction between 200 and 300 degrees at the time of the incident.

Other meteorological conditions were given as clear skies, visibility 10 km or more and low wind speed.

The aircraft operating the WK24 service to Cancun was an Airbus A340-300, registered HB-JMF.

This is a 20-year-old wide-body aircraft belonging to the carrier Edelweiss Air. The aircraft has been in operation with the carrier since March 2017.

Edelweiss Air

Edelweiss Air (WK) is a Swiss leisure airline headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland. Founded in 1995, it is a sister company of Swiss International Air Lines (LX) and a member of the Lufthansa Group (LH).

Edelweiss Air operates a fleet of Airbus A320 family aircraft for short and medium-haul routes, and Airbus A330 and A340 aircraft for long-haul routes.

The airline offers both Economy and Business Class cabins, with Economy Max seating available on long-haul flights.

Edelweiss Air serves as a significant provider of holiday travel from Zurich Airport (ZRH) to over 90 destinations in 32 countries worldwide.

The airline focuses on leisure travel markets, offering connections to popular beach getaways, cultural experiences, and vibrant cities.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 3 Min Read
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