The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) is investigating an accident with the Airbus A319 of Shenzhen Airlines , registration B-8667, allegedly during approach for landing at the airport in Panzhihua Bao’anying, China, touched down before the runway threshold. The event was recorded on the afternoon of this Friday, October 16; the aircraft suffered damage to the tires and the lower part of the fuselage. 

The information was revealed by the Austrian portal The Aviation Herald ; At the time of the accident, the plane was on flight ZH9247, which took off from Xi’an Xianyang International Airport at 11:32 p.m. (GMT + 8) in the direction of Panzhihua. The flight, which lasted two hours and ten minutes (2h10), passed normally, landing at the destination aerodrome on runway 02, which is 2,800 meters long, at 1:41 p.m.

Subsequently, it left the runway, taxied towards the terminal platform, and all passengers disembarked normally. However, the ground inspection identified damage to the tires and the underside of the Airbus fuselage; and as a consequence, flight ZH9248 back to Xi’an was canceled. According to aviation forums and later local newspapers, after identifying the damage to the plane, the authorities decided to conduct an inspection on the runway, where they discovered that six approach lights and the instrument landing system (ILS) locator antennas were damaged by the Airbus, which apparently touched down before the runway threshold.

Due to the accident, the airport was temporarily closed; With the locator lights and antennas damaged, landing operations were restricted to the opposite threshold, runway 20. The airline confirmed that the aircraft suffered damage to the tires of both main gear when landing; the return flight was canceled and the passengers affected by the cancellation were accommodated in a hotel until the morning of this Saturday, October 17. For its part, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) only revealed that it is investigating an ‘unsafe occurrence’. 

Due to the location of the airport, built on the edge of a 123-meter slope on top of a mountain at 3,300 feet above city level (AGL), in a region surrounded by mountains, Panzhihua Bao’anying Airport is one of the most challenging in China, being nicknamed the ‘Panzhihua aircraft carrier’ by pilots; Due to the difficulty in the approach, which constantly suffers from poor visibility, the airlines that operate there adopt a configuration of two captains in command of the plane.