Air France Airbus A350 suffers damage after tailstrike on landing in Toronto

Airbus and Air France are looking to establish a JV to maintain the global Airbus A350 fleet
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An Air France Airbus A350-900 suffered a tailstrike upon landing at Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) on January 21, 2024. The aircraft was concluding a scheduled flight from Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) when the incident occurred. 

The flight (AF456) was being operated by one of the airline’s 27-strong fleet of A350-900s registered as (F-HTYH). As the crew passed over the threshold to Toronto’s runway 24L, the crew decided to execute a go-around due to an unstabilized approach. However, during the go-around procedure, the aircraft pitched up rapidly, which caused the rear fuselage to make contact with the runway surface. 

Jacdec / X

Following the tailstrike, the aircraft continued with the go-around and landed 15 minutes later. There were no injuries among the passengers and crew onboard, although the aircraft suffered substantial damage to its tail. 

Images posted on social media show the moment the A350’s tail struck the runway, with a shower of spark emanating from under the aircraft’s tail.  Other images shared show the extent of the damage caused to the rear fuselage, with multiple dents and scrape marks visible. 

The return flight to Paris was canceled with passengers being routed on other carriers. At the time of writing, the aircraft involved remains on the ground in Toronto awaiting further assessment and repair.  

According to ch-aviation, F-HYTH was delivered to Air France in April 2021 and is currently 2.9 years old. It is configured to carry 324 passengers in a three-class configuration – 34 in business class, 24 in premium economy, and 266 in economy. 

There have been several other tailstrikes involving A350s since its entry into service in 2015. In January 2022, a British Airways A350-1000 suffered a tailstrike when the pilots commenced a go-around procedure at London-Heathrow Airport (LHR) following a baulked landing. In April 2023, a Qatar Airway A350-900 also suffered a tailstrike when performing a go-around in Islamabad, Pakistan. Both aircraft were repaired and subsequently returned to service.  

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