Airbus BelugaXL rolls off the runway, becomes stuck in the mud

Craig Russell /

An Airbus A330 Beluga XL, registered as F-GXLN, was spotted stuck in the mud at an airport in France. The jet steered off the runway while landing and was spotted trapped in the soft ground on November 18, 2022. 

The aircraft took off from Saint Nazaire Montoir Airport (SNR) and landed at Albert – Picardie Airport (BYF) in France at 12:44 PM local time (GMT +1) on November 18, 2022.  

According to AvHerald, the A330 Beluga landed on the runway and proceeded to roll to the backtrack area at the end of the runway, where it attempted to make a 180-degree turn. After turning about 135 degrees, the aircraft’s nose and right-hand main gear wheels veered off the paved surface and the cargo-only jet became embedded in the mud.

Per NOTAM Info, which tracks various NOTAMS across the globe, the paved runway has been closed since the incident took place and will open only on November 22, 2022, at 00:59 AM local time (GMT +1), affecting all traffic in and out of the airport. Per data, F-GXLN is still at the airport. 

The Beluga is used to transport large aircraft parts between Airbus’ manufacturing sites, and cargo for other companies in various sectors. Airbus operates manufacturing plants both in Saint Nazaire and in Albert. 

Based on the A330, the new Beluga XLs – entered service first in December 2019 – set out to replace the old and A300-based Beluga special transport aircraft that the European plane maker has been previously using to transport aircraft parts and other specialized items. 

The specific aircraft involved in the incident was delivered to Airbus Transport International, the manufacturer’s transportation and cargo subsidiary in September 2022, data reports. 


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