Created Tuesday, Jul 20th 2021 10:10Z, last updated Monday, Aug 2nd 2021 20:28Z
A Condor Airbus A320-200, registration D-AICP performing flight DE-1763
from Kavala (Greece) to Dusseldorf (Germany), departed Kavala's runway 23 when the crew stopped the climb at FL100 due to being unable to retract the landing gear. The aircraft entered a hold to burn off fuel and troubleshoot the issue, then returned to Kavala for a safe landing on runway 23 about 50 minutes after departure.
A passenger reported the crew indicated the landing gear could not be retracted.
A ground observer reported the crew told ATC they could not retract the landing gear.
The Aviation Herald had received information the aircraft was in Kavala since Jul 11th 2021 and has received structural damage, the source however could not tell anything about the circumstandes of how the damage came together.
Another source confirmed the aircraft received substantial damage to its fuselage.
Another source pointed out the aircraft had suffered a rejected takeoff in Heraklion the previous day (at low speed according to Mode-S data), reason unknown, and remained on the ground in Heraklion for 22.5 hours before flying the return flight to Dusseldorf and subsequently performing flight DE-1762 to Kavala. The source however could not establish a causal link to the events, that keep the aircraft on the ground now in Kavala.
A fourth source suggested the aircraft may have landed hard in Kavala on flight DE-1762, however, there are no corroborating reports so far.
On Jul 21st 2021 Germany's BFU reported they have received information about the occurrence and are currently investigating how to rate the occurrence as well as to the sequence of events. Greece's Accident Investigation has asked the BFU to conduct the investigation.
The airline subsequently reported the crew could not retract the nose gear, the aircraft returned safely to Kavala and is currently ground with some damage.
On Aug 2nd 2021 The Aviation Herald learned the aircraft had received structural damage to the nose consistent with overloading the structure at frame 20 (which is slightly aft of the nose gear trunion) and the nose landing gear had completely deflated (which was why the nose landing gear could not be retracted).
The aircraft is still in Kavala 23 days later.
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