Azul A320neo in hard touchdown at Sao Paulo

An Azul A320 aircraft touches down heavily in Sao Paulo.
Image via Golf Oscar Romeo Youtube

In a recent incident involving Azul Linhas Aereas, an Airbus A320-200N, registration PR-YRI, faced a challenging landing situation at Sao Paulo Congonhas Airport (Brazil).

On November 15, Azul flight AD4251, a regional flight from Recife PE, to Sao Paulo Congonhas, SP, experienced an unexpected sink rate during the approach to Runway 35L at 11:34 local time (15:34 UTC).

The Azul Airbus A320-200N was in the flare for Runway 35L at Congonhas Airport. Upon passing the runway threshold, the sink rate increased, resulting in a very firm touchdown beyond the intended landing zone.

Hard landing and go-around Sao Paulo

Following the hard landing, the flight crew swiftly made the decision to initiate a go-around procedure. The aircraft then climbed to a safe altitude of 5,500ft and the flight crew repositioned for another approach to Runway 35L.

The crew then successfully executed a second landing approximately 16 minutes after the initial incident at 11:50 local time.


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Despite the earlier challenge, the crew’s decisive actions ensured a safe conclusion to the flight. Fortunately, no injuries were reported among the passengers or crew during this incident.

Azul Airlines’ robust safety measures, coupled with the crew’s ability to manage unexpected situations, contributed to the incident’s resolution without harm.

A passenger onboard reported what was described as a “very strong impact” and “loud noise” which resulted in everybody “screaming”.

Azul Linhas Aereas is renowned for its strong commitment to operational safety. As Brazil’s third-largest airline, Azul maintains a strong safety culture.


To date, Azul Airlines has never had a serious or fatal crash. However, like the vast majority of airlines, they have had a handful of small incidents. In May of this year, an Azul Linhas Aéreas Embraer E195-E2 suffered from a runway excursion at Salvador Airport in Brazil.

Azul Airlines operates a modern fleet, including Airbus A320 aircraft like the one involved in this incident, renowned for their fuel efficiency and passenger comfort.

The airline serves an extensive network, connecting passengers to destinations across Brazil and beyond.

The incident aircraft PR-YRI, was a 6.7-year-old Airbus A320neo. The aircraft was delivered to Azul in March 2017 and has been flying for the Brazilian carrier ever since.

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By Lewis Dwyer 3 Min Read
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