Authorities launch investigations after tail of Ryanair jet strikes runway during takeoff

Investigations have been launched into an incident where the tail of a Dublin-bound Ryanair jet struck the runway during departure from Krakow Airport in Poland on Sunday.

Polish and Irish aviation safety authorities are investigating the incident which involved Ryanair flight FR1902. There were 125 passengers and six crew onboard at the time.

The Boeing 737-800 was taking off from Krakow at about 1.30pm local time when, during rotation, the tail section of the aircraft made contact with the runway surface.

The crew continued with the takeoff, climbed and levelled off at 5,000ft before returning to the airport for a safe landing about 25 minutes later.

Ryanair dispatched a replacement aircraft to Krakow to take the passengers on to Dublin, where they arrived more than eight hours behind schedule.

The aircraft involved in the incident was grounded pending completion of an inspection by engineers but resumed service the following day.

It suffered no structural damage according to the airline. Boeing 737-800 series aircraft are fitted with a ‘tailskid’ to protect the aircraft fuselage in the event of a tail strike during landing or takeoff.

Ryanair’s Robin Kiely confirmed: “Ryanair flight FR-1902 (Krakow to Dublin, 31 Mar) experienced a tail scrape on departure. The crew followed procedures and returned to Krakow where a post-flight inspection confirmed a minor scrape on the tail skid. There was no aircraft or structural damage.

“The incident was reported to the Irish Aviation Authority and Air Accident Investigation Unit on the day of occurrence and Ryanair is fully co-operating with investigating authorities in order to establish the cause of the incident.”

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