Boeing 737 worth £90M written off after heavy landing at Exeter Airport

Cracks on the plane's fuselage after the landing. Credit: Air Accident Investigtion Branch

A Boeing 737 aircraft worth £90million was written off after a heavy landing at Exeter Airport.

The plane landed so hard that it was left leaning to one side with its fuselage bent.

A new government report into the incident, which happened in January 2021, says it was as a result of the crew continuing their landing approach in the early hours of the morning after the aircraft had become “unstable”.

The report found the damage could have been reduced if the crew had aborted the landing and gone round to attempt it a second time.

The fuselage skin behind the wings was left cracked and buckled, and the rear fuselage was bent downwards.

Oil was left dripping from several areas and landing gear was distorted, giving the aircraft a lean to the left. Debris and hydraulic oil were left on the runway afterwards.

A Boeing plane operated by West Atlantic Credit: MI News/NurPhoto/PA Images

The jet-engined aircraft was operated by Swedish-based West Atlantic and carrying cargo at the time, with just two crew members on board.

The plane was said to have been “damaged beyond economical repair” after the landing but no-one was injured.

It was being piloted by a co-pilot at the time of the incident. West Atlantic has since changed its rules and ordered that only flight commanders can land planes at Exeter in future.