Global insight

UPS MD-11 freighter 'written off' after aborted take off

UPS MD-11 freighter ‘written off’ after aborted take off

A UPS freighter has crashed off the end of a Seoul Incheon Airport runway after an aborted take off in South Korea, writes Nigel Tomkins.

The four-man crew survived the incident without injuries, using the port-side escape chute slide, say reports from the region.

The cargo plane careered off the end of the runway after accelerating normally – apparently reaching V1 optimum take off speed – along the airport’s runway 33L when the crew rejected takeoff.

The freighter overran the end of the runway, smashed through the approach lights and the localiser antenna and came to a stop some 350 metres beyond the end of the tarmac on soft ground, reports aircraft incident watchdog Aviation Herald.

The nose gear had collapsed and the aircraft suffered substantial damage – almost certainly beyond repair.

Converted to cargo jet

Images from Incheon show the grounded nose of the aircraft forlornly resting in grass beside the runway. The incident resulted in the runway being shut for traffic.

A possible cause of such a take off catastrophe could be a load shift, say some experts.

An investigation is to be conducted by South Korean and US officials, say reports.

Powered by three Pratt & Whitney PW4460 engines, this particular MD-11 was first delivered to Japan Airlines in 1995 as a passenger aircraft.

In October 2004 it was converted to a cargo jet with the installation of a main cargo door, before being acquired by express parcels and airfreight specialist UPS.

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