Atlas Air Boeing 747 freighter wingtip clips hangar at Fort Lauderdale Airport 

Mariusz Klarowicz / Shutterstock

At Fort Lauderdale International Airport (FLL) in Florida, an Atlas Air Boeing 747 freighter had a lucky escape after it knocked a wingtip against part of a hangar. According to reports, the plane’s intended destination was Miami International Airport (MIA), some 21 miles (34km) to the south, but it was forced to divert due to thunderstorms over the airfield at the time of its arrival. 

The incident happened on May 21, 2024, as the Atlas Air freighter operated flight number 5Y9330 from Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport (SCL) in Santiago de Chile to Miami International Airport. According to data obtained from Flightradar24, the flight departed Santiago at 07:37 for its flight to Miami, where it was due to land at 16:21 that afternoon. 

However, upon arrival in the Miami air traffic control area, the weather deteriorated. The aircraft made one approach to Miami before performing a go-around. The plane then circled the airport and made a second attempt at landing, which was also abandoned. It was at this point that the flight diverted to Fort Lauderdale, where it landed on runway 10L at 20:22 local time, about nine hours after leaving Santiago.  


Having vacated the active runway, the aircraft taxied towards its allocated parking stand to await better weather in Miami. As it did so, its right wingtip struck part of a structure linked to a hangar occupied by Signature Flight Support, a Fixed Base Operator (FBO) at the airport.  

Fortunately, due to the aircraft’s low taxi speed, there was no damage caused to the aircraft’s wing, nor were there any injuries to personnel either onboard the aircraft or on the ground. Following a detailed inspection of the plane by engineers, the aircraft was declared fit to fly once again. The following day, it departed Fort Lauderdale at 12:57 to position back to Miami. It took just 21 minutes to complete the ferry flight south, landing in Miami at 13:18.  


The aircraft involved in this minor incident was a Boeing 747-47UF with registration N496MC. According to ch-aviation, the plane is 25 years old, having originally been delivered to Atlas Air in June 1999. The aircraft is powered by four GE engines.  

Notably, at the time of writing, the aircraft has not flown again since ferrying to Miami.    

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