LATAM A321 Returns to São Paulo After Tail Strike

Iyusi766, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A LATAM Airlines Brazil flight operating from São Paulo to Florianopolis, Brazil made a return to São Paulo Guarulhos International Airport due to a tail strike on 26 April 2024.

LATAM flight LA4518, an Airbus A321-200 bound for Florianópolis–Hercílio Luz International Airport (FLN), experienced a tail strike on takeoff.

LATAM LA4518 Sao Paulo-Florianopolis

Flight crew reported hearing a noise from the rear of the aircraft during the rotation phase from RWY 10L.

The climb after departure was subsequently terminated below 10,000 feet, and flight crew elected to make a precautionary return to São Paulo Guarulhos.

The aircraft subsequently made an uneventful landing approximately 30 minutes after its initial departure.

Reports indicate that the aircraft had sustained minor damage as a result of a tail scrape with the runway surface during rotation.

Return to Sao Paulo

Flight data shows that LATAM flight LA4518 made an on-time departure out of São Paulo at 1759 local time on 26 April. The flight subsequently climbed to 9000 feet before flight crew terminated the climb and negotiated a return to the departure airport.

The flight did not declare an emergency and the return was conducted under normal operational procedures.

Airbus A321-200 PT-MXO

The aircraft conducting the LA4518 rotation to Florianopolis was an Airbus A321-200 registered PT-MXO.

This is a 10-year old narrowbody aircraft belonging to the carrier LATAM Airlines Brazil. It has been in operational service with the airline since its initial delivery in May 2014.

Iyusi766, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

LATAM Airlines Brazil, formerly TAM Linhas Aéreas, is the Brazilian brand of LATAM Airlines Group. It operates international and domestic flights from hubs in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Brasília.

According to the National Civil Aviation Agency of Brazil (ANAC), between January and December 2019, LATAM had 34.7% of the domestic, and 20.9% of the international market share.

This is calculated in terms of passenger-kilometers flown, making it the second largest domestic and largest international airline in Brazil.

LATAM Airlines Brazil was founded in 1961 as TAM – Táxi Aéreo Marília. It merged with LAN Airlines in 2012 to form LATAM Airlines Group.

In 2015, the two airlines announced that they would fully rebrand as LATAM. One livery was uniformly applied on all aircraft by 2018. The airline withdrew from the Star Alliance and joined Oneworld in 2014, but left Oneworld on May 1, 2020.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 3 Min Read
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