Mystery solved on Korean Air’s engine damage in 2016

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Jul 13, 2018 - 16:25
  • Updated : Jul 13, 2018 - 16:35

An unusual culprit was behind the right wing engine damage suffered by a Korean Air plane during its landing at Jeju Airport on Jan. 25, 2016, investigations by the Transport Ministry showed, according to news reports Friday.

Korean Air’s KE1275 suffered a dent on its right wing engine as it was landing at around 11 p.m. The flight had not crashed into any other airplane or facility on the airstrip.

The damaged engine of the KE1275 (Yonhap database)

To search for the cause, Jeju Airport officials had collected fragments of the engine that had been scattered around the runway, but they could not confirm the reason at the time.

It turned out the flight had glided past a 1.5-meter-high pile of snow at the side of the runway as it was landing.

Carrying 10 flight attendants, KE1275 was arriving as backup to transport passengers that had been stranded at the airport on the island in a snowstorm.

Some tens of thousands of travelers were grounded by flight delays and cancellations as the worst snowstorm in 23 years had hit the resort island.

Korean Air, which suffered damage to its No. 4 engine on the right side, has since filed for compensation against Korea Airports Corp.

An aviation accident investigation commission of the Transport Ministry had been looking into the case. Korean Air, based on the investigation results, notified KAC that the repair had cost the airline some 5 billion won ($4.44 million).

The air carrier is expected to continue with the suit as the involved parties, including the Jeju Regional Office of Aviation, have failed to reach a compromise.

Currently preparing to respond to the suit, KAC is reportedly reviewing a possibility of exercising its right to indemnity should the case be ruled as the joint responsibility of the government. (