A cargo door on a DHL Boeing 757 opened mid-flight on the 13th of February 2021. The aircraft was performing a German route between Leipzig/Halle Airport and Frankfurt am Main Airport when the unexpected issue occurred.
A quick return
According to The Aviation Herald, the Boeing 757-200 freighter involved in the matter holds registration number G-DHKZ. It was conducting flight QY-126, climbing out of Leipzig’s runway 26L when the crew on board the unit stopped its climb at approximately 5,300 feet mean sea level (MSL). The reason for this stop was due to the plane’s cargo door fully opening.
As a result of the problem, airframe parts fell near the Schkopau coal power plant. This site can be found approximately 10 NM west from the departing airport.
The plane returned to Leipzig, landing in the opposite direction to its takeoff. It touched down at the airport on the runway at 05:47 local time, just 15 minutes after it initially departed. The aircraft stayed on the runway for approximately 40 minutes before being shifted to the apron.
More on the aircraft
The plane was still on the ground at least 12 hours after touching down. Its last known location is also reported to be at Leipzig. It was found that that the 757 sustained significant damage following the mid-flight issue. However, the German Federal Bureau of Aircraft Accident Investigation (BFU) shares that nobody was injured and no freight was lost.
The inquiry continues
An investigation has been launched to find out more about what occurred during this cargo operation. Altogether, thankfully nobody was hurt and no goods were lost following the opening of this door on the Boeing 757.
A spokesperson for the company sent the following:
“We can confirm that an aircraft belonging to DHL UK Air experienced technical issues after departing Leipzig/Halle airport for Frankfurt/Main on Saturday 13th of February 2021. During the flight lightweight parts of an aircraft cargo door frame were torn off. No civilians were injured. The aircraft immediately returned to the airport and was able to land safely. The incident has been reported and is now being investigated by the aviation authorities. Please understand that we cannot provide further details during the ongoing investigation.”
DHL will undoubtedly be looking to take action so something like this doesn’t repeat. With five decades of experience in specializing in cargo operations, the firm would be surprised to see such an occurrence during its services.