Maastricht Aachen Airport comments on the engine failure of Longtail Aviation Boeing 747-400

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The Longtail Aviation Boeing 747-400 landing at Liège © Aubrey Verbaere

Yesterday, we reported about the accident of a Longtail Aviation Boeing 747-400BCF which lost engine blades shortly after take-off from Maastricht Airport, injuring two people on the ground.

Today, 21 February, the airport issued a statement about the accident.

Engine fire B747-400

Saturday afternoon at 16.11, a Boeing 747-400 left Maastricht Aachen Airport in a southerly direction. The aircraft with general cargo and pharmaceuticals on board was en route to New York. A few seconds after the plane took off, air traffic control detected an engine fire and informed the pilots of the plane. They then switched off the engine concerned and sent out an emergency signal (“squawk 7700”).

The pilot subsequently decided to abort the flight and land at Liège airport. The choice not to return to Maastricht Aachen Airport but to land at Liège has to do with the runway length. The runway in Liège is longer, which means that an aircraft, relatively heavy due to the amount of fuel onboard, has more space to land safely.

We understand that people are shocked and regret that this has happened. Our attention now primarily focuses on those directly involved in this incident. We are currently trying to get in touch with the lady and parents of the boy who was injured yesterday. In addition, next week we will organise an information meeting for the people of the affected neighbourhood, in which we explain as much as possible what happened and people can ask questions or voice their concerns. An invitation will follow. People can also send their questions to us by e-mail: info@maa.nl.

What exactly happened that caused the engine fire is not yet clear at this time. The Dutch Safety Board and Aviation Police are investigating this, to which we and the airline are cooperating fully. We want to await these studies and do not want to anticipate the results by speculating. Nobody is helped with that now.

The Safety Region calls on people to: “Leave fragments behind. That is a request from the police. If you have found a piece of debris, report it on +31 43 808 00 06. Report the damage to your insurance company.”

February 21, 2021

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