Aviation News

August 15, 2009

Four Months After Hard Landing at JFK, Crippled RAM 767 Nearly Repaired

Photo by Tom Alfano
Photo by Tom Alfano
On the afternoon of April 20th, Royal Air Maroc Flight 200 was completing a routine Atlantic crossing from Casablanca, carrying 210 passengers and 10 crew. The weather on approach to JFK’s runway 4R, however, was not so routine, the airport being battered by rain and 28kt gusts. The 767-36N/ER (CN-RNT) was unstable as she crossed the numbers, and proceeded to slam down, nose wheel first, before settling on her main landing gear.

Despite what was surely a very bumpy ride, the crew maintained control through the rollout. She exited the runway, taxied to the gate, deplaned her passengers and underwent normal post-flight procedures. Although the flight crew almost certainly must have known that the landing was out of the ordinary, nothing was ever reported to the tower or ground, some say because they were “shy.”

Move forward a few hours to preparations for Royal Air Maroc Flight 201, the return leg which is normally operated by the same aircraft. After crews had moved the plane from a hardstand to the gate, loading it with cargo and catering and commencing boarding, the First Officer trudged out into the still pouring rain and continued high winds to perform his pre-flight walk around. And that’s when he noticed something wasn’t right: A blemish in the outer skin, at roughly the same time passengers noticed water running down the side panels of the cabin. Closer inspection revealed that 767′s outer skin was seriously compromised. Needless to say, thankfully RAM 201 never left the gate that night.

The plane was moved to a hangar where she could be inspected to ascertain the entire scope of the damage. It was dramatic: Multiple joints, ribbing and fasteners were either crushed or shattered like glass. The nose gear area suffered internal damage, and the outer skin was split open so much in some spots it was easy to see to the sky from the inside of the plane.

A team lead by Boeing with assistance from Delta Tech Ops was tasked with the repair. For four months she has remained at JFK, during which she’s been stripped down to her skeleton, her outer skin removed removed in damaged areas. The Boeing techs went to work essentially rebuilding these sections from scratch at an estimated cost of $11 million.

Photo by Tom Alfano

A recent photo of CN-RNT wearing her new skin. (Photo by Tom Alfano) + CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE

Today CN-RNT is being tested to take to the skies again where she’ll be flown to a paint facility, repainted and then put back into commercial service. Some question the reliability of the repairs but having interacted with many professionals from the Boeing Company I’d would gladly buy a seat on this bird.


  • ChrisNH

    This is a good story of good people working together. For Boeing, It's not always all about building new planes; helping to keep good birds in the air is just as much of the story and I'm sure this is very pleasing to RAM and they will no doubt remain a steadfast Boeing customer.

  • Michael Stanzione

    Great job. I hope the pilot wasn't overly punished. Sounds like it was a hard gust at the wrong time.

  • mikelovatt

    If Boeing repair did it beleive me its 100% fit to fly. I saw a Tunis Air B727 which was damaged after a takeoff attempt in a sandstorm. It had its main gears torn off, the nose gear lost the wheels but the aircraft skidded on the nose axle to a halt. The aircraft fuselage creased in front of the wing and aft of the wing. The Boeing team came in to Jeddah old airport around 1977/8 and with no hangar and on an uneven parking ramp in front of the old Saudia hangars, they shored the aircraft level, covered it in a black net tent to keep off the heat and then they rebuilt the aircraft in less that 28 days. It took a while prior to the repair to do the assessment but the repair team and its famous green boxes full of all the tools, parts, materials, even the coffee machine were totally organised and did not waste any time. I have seen many repair teams from different manufacturers. Boeing Repair Team is second to NONE. and nobody should ever doubt the reliability ever.

    • Dave Eastaugh

      I worked in old Jeddah tower for a couple of months in 1982. There was a 707 in the hangar that I understand was used for some kind of ground training. Story I heard was that someone had banged it on so hard, other crews refused to fly it. Wonder if the Boeing repair team ever had a look at that one?
      Dave YYZ

  • speedbird1

    The flight was replaced for awhile by a RAM B744 but now a B763 is being used.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/MUK MUK

    I worked on that repair! A team of highly skilled guys knocked this repair out of the park! Everett AOG team baby! 7 skin panels, 3 frames, 35 stringers, and one nose landing gear along with a full inspection.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/MUK MUK

    I worked on that repair! A team of highly skilled guys knocked this repair out of the park! Everett AOG team baby! 7 skin panels, 3 frames, 35 stringers, and one nose landing gear along with a full inspection.

  • Dave Eastaugh

    I worked in old Jeddah tower for a couple of months in 1982. There was a 707 in the hangar that I understand was used for some kind of ground training. Story I heard was that someone had banged it on so hard, other crews refused to fly it. Wonder if the Boeing repair team ever had a look at that one?
    Dave YYZ

  • http://www.skajdbgfshfvdasb.com Dewayne Whiteleather

    Don’t stop blogging! It’s nice to read a happy commentary meant for once

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1352434678 Mouhcine Maher

    oh my god I wonder how the pilot of this air craft could land it  safely. god bless the moroccans

  • http://penyembuhan-herbal.hepatitisc.web.id/ Pengobatan hepatitis c

    so amazing this pic