LATAM Boeing 787 dismantled for maintenance after substantial damage

LATAM Airlines Boeing 787 became the third-ever aircraft of the type to be dismantled
Alejandro Gonzalez M / Shutterstock

Engineers and mechanics dismantled a LATAM Airlines Boeing 787-8 for maintenance, according to an airline’s representative.

Previously, the story incorrectly reported that the aircraft would be scrapped.

The LATAM Airlines wide-body jet, registered as CC-BBF, belongs to the carrier’s Chilean subsidiary. Pictures shared on X (formerly Twitter) showed the aircraft without its tail and multiple workers and equipment near the 787.

The decision to dismantle the 9.2-year-old aircraft for maintenance followed an incident in early May 2023 when it was involved an incent at Bogota El Dorado Luis Carlos Galan Sarmiento International Airport (BOG), Colombia. The aircraft was being repositioned by a tug when a towbar snapped, resulting in the tug becoming stuck underneath the fuselage of the aircraft.

Post-incident videos showed substantial damage to the bottom fuselage, including deep cuts in some areas of the 787’s composite fuselage.

According to data, CC-BBF has a total of 10,300 Flight Hours (FH) and 1,575 Flight Cycles (FC), operating an average stage length of six hours and 32 minutes.

Previously, two former Norwegian Boeing 787s were scrapped at Glasgow Prestwick Airport (PIK), Scotland in February 2023. The pair, registered as VP-CVL and VP-CVM, had been stored at PIK since May and September 2019, respectively. While neither was involved in an incident, presumably no operator was interested in purchasing the aircraft on the second-hand market after almost four years in storage.

The two Boeing 787s were delivered to Norwegian in 2013.

However, Boeing also dismantled one 787 testbed, namely a 787-8 with Manufacturer Serial Number (MSN) 40694, in April 2018.

UPDATE September 2, 2023, 15:15 PM (UTC +3): The article was updated to better reflect the status of the LATAM Airlines Boeing 787.

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