Antonov An-225 Mriya, the heaviest and, arguably, largest aircraft in the world, has suffered a mechanical problem with its landing gear.
The incident occurred at approximately 8:49 AM CET (7:49 GMT) on January 9, 2021, as the aircraft was landing at Rzeszow airport (RZE) on its flight from Istanbul (IST).
In a Twitter post, the company announced that landing gear deployment sensor attachment bolts were “cut” on the right landing gear strut.
According to Antonov, the problem did not have an effect on the safety of Mriya’s flight and landing.
The company also said that the aircraft will be fully operational again as soon as the bolts are replaced.
10 січня 2022 року, під час приземлення літака #Ан225 в аеропорту Ряшіва, Польща, на правій основній опорі шасі зрізало болти фіксації датчика положення шасі “політ-земля”. Виявлена несправність не вплинула на безпеку польоту та посадки “Мрії”. pic.twitter.com/kV28tEDVYv— ANTONOV Company (@AntonovCompany) January 10, 2022
The tweet also mentions that the incident occurred on January 10, however, multiple flight tracking services, such as Flightradar24 and Radarbox, show that the flight from Istanbul to Rzeszow took place on the morning of January 9.
AeroTime has contacted Antonov Company for confirmation. Its press service confirmed that the incident happened on January 9, 2022.
According to the data, as of the morning of January 11, the aircraft is still on the ground at RZE.
Takeoffs and landings performed by the An-225 tend to receive significant attention from aviation enthusiasts, and this flight was no different. The landing, which occurred in the early morning, was particularly spectacular as the enormous aircraft cut through the fog, leaving a breach in its path.
Onboard footage of the landing was also uploaded by Dmytro Antonov, the An-225 pilot. However, he does not mention the problem with the landing gear sensor.
During the flight, the An-225 carried an unspecified payload weighing 155,000 kilograms from Bishkek (FRU) to Istanbul and then to Rzeszow. This is heavier than the maximum payload of any other cargo aircraft in the world. For example, the Antonov An-124 can carry up to 150,000 kilograms, the Boeing 747-8F up to 134,200 kilograms, and the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy up to 122,470 kilograms.
The An-225 Mriya was built in the 1980s and intended to carry rocket parts and spaceplanes for the Soviet space program. In the early 2000s, it was modernized and repurposed as a freighter, becoming the heaviest and the most capable cargo aircraft in the world.
It boasts numerous world records, including carrying more than 253,000 kilograms, the heaviest payload ever and equal to more than five empty Boeing 737s or roughly 3,600 washing machines.
Only one An-225 was ever built, although a second airframe has been made. Antonov has been deliberating over its completion for decades.