Air traffic at Antwerp Airport disrupted after belly landing of small Piper PA-28-161 aircraft


Example of a Piper PA-28-161 – Image by Ad Meskens [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or GFDL (], from Wikimedia Commons
On 28 August around 11:00 (UTC+2), air traffic at Antwerp Airport got disrupted after a belly landing of a small aircraft. The pilot of the aircraft, a Piper PA-28-161 (OO-TMX) from flight school Ben Air Flight Academy (BAFA), was the only passenger. VLM Airlines was forced to divert two flights – Zurich-Antwerp (VO142) and Munich-Antwerp (VO132) – to Brussels Airport.

The aircraft has sustained major damage: the landing gear seems to be gone, and the engine might have suffered a major propstrike. The aircraft was removed from runway 11/29, around noon, Antwerp Airport resumed operations.

In the afternoon, BAFA issued a press release, confirming the student airline pilot performing a solo training flight focusing on touch & go’s. The student was already familiar with this kind of training. During the flight, however, the pilot noticed a burning smell in the aircraft. Due to the smell, the pilot decided to carry out an emergency landing. After the accident, it became clear that the burning smell came from a fire in a field just adjacent to the location where the pilot performed the touch & go’s.

Certain factors have forced the aircraft ending up next to the runway. The pilot involved only got slightly injured.

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