BY CHARLOTTE SEET
It seems that another aircraft has temporarily bitten the dust after a ground incident on April 22nd caused one of Allegiant Air’s Airbus A319s to suffer a nose gear collapse at Las Vegas. While it was fortunate that no one was reportedly injured after the incident, the same could unfortunately not be said for the damaged narrowbody.
Originally parked in Las Vegas for maintenance
The aircraft in question is a nearly two-decade-old Airbus A319 registered N314NV, which first flew for British low-cost carrier easyJet in December 2004 as G-EZEZ before being returned from lease to Allegiant Air in November 2018. The narrowbody entered service the following month and operates from Las Vegas Harry Reid International Airport.
From then until now, N314NV typically operates to domestic destinations like Springfield, Eugene, and Oklahoma City, to name a few. On April 21st, the day before the incident, the Airbus narrowbody was flying from Las Vegas to Springfield, San Diego, and Monterey before returning home to Las Vegas for a scheduled routine maintenance check for April 22nd.
Then the following day while parked at Las Vegas, N314NV suddenly suffered a nose gear collapse during the maintenance check. Nobody was reported to be injured, but the narrowbody sustained quite the damage to the nose; both engines and one of its passenger doors. Allegiant Air is yet to respond for a comment at this time of writing.
Adding to the growing list of incidents
Given it’s not the first time an aircraft had its nose gear collapsed while on the ground, it’s safe to presume that the safety pin for the nose gear of N314NV was probably not securely pinned during the maintenance check. This would eventually result in the unwanted retraction of the landing gear, which could explain the collapse of the nose gear.
Such examples of the lack of a safety pin have been shown with British Airways’ first Boeing 787-8 registered G-ZBJB and a Singapore Airlines Airbus A330-300 registered 9V-STG. The incident of N314NV will likely join the list of examples, although it also highlights the alarming rate at which aircraft incidents have been happening lately.
The US aviation industry has been painted with a spate of incidents that gradually began brewing more consistently last year, except that the growth rate doesn’t seem to slow down this year as the past four months have already seen even more incidents and near-misses – from windows ‘popping open’ mid-flight to having a Boeing 737 roll forward uncommanded in the past few days alone.
With the busy summer season incoming, the nose gear collapse of Allegiant Air’s Airbus A319 will unlikely be the last incident for the time being as the aviation industry grapples with hectic schedules alongside a relatively tight labor force. While it is unfortunate that the narrowbody was quite damaged, it’s still fortunate that no one got hurt – an outcome that is still the best to come out of any aircraft incident or otherwise.