LOT Polish Airlines Flight 16

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LOT Polish Airlines Flight 16
PLL LOT Boeing 767-300ER Poznan 2.jpg
SP-LPC in 2005, 6 years before the accident.
Accident summary
Date 1 November 2011
Summary Landing gear failure resulting in a belly landing
Site Warsaw Chopin Airport, Warsaw, Poland
52°09′56″N 20°58′02″E / 52.16556°N 20.96722°E / 52.16556; 20.96722Coordinates: 52°09′56″N 20°58′02″E / 52.16556°N 20.96722°E / 52.16556; 20.96722
Passengers 220
Crew 11
Fatalities 0
Injuries (non-fatal) 0
Survivors 231 (all)
Aircraft type Boeing 767-300ER
Aircraft name Poznań
Operator LOT Polish Airlines
Registration SP-LPC
Flight origin Newark Liberty International Airport, Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
Destination Warsaw Chopin Airport,
Warsaw, Poland

LOT Polish Airlines Flight 16 was a passenger flight which made an emergency landing at Warsaw Chopin Airport, Poland, on 1 November 2011 after its landing gear failed to extend. All 231 aboard survived without any significant injuries. The aircraft involved, a Boeing 767-300ER, was operating as LOT Polish Airlines' scheduled international service from Newark Liberty International Airport, New Jersey, to Warsaw. The preliminary report found that a hydraulic leak occurred shortly after takeoff, which resulted in a loss of all the hydraulic fluid that powered the primary landing gear system.

It was classified as an aviation accident by State Commission on Aircraft Accidents Investigation.[1]


The aircraft involved was a Boeing 767-35DER, registered SP-LPC, named Poznań, serial number 28656. It was first delivered to LOT on 15 May 1997.[2][3] The damage to the plane was so extensive that the airline chose not to make repairs.[4] The aircraft was scrapped in November 2013.[5]


Captain Wrona

LOT Polish Airlines Flight 16 was scheduled to arrive at Warsaw Chopin Airport from Newark Liberty International Airport on 1 November 2011 at 13:35 CET. Technical difficulties were detected by Captain Tadeusz Wrona within 30 minutes after takeoff from Newark. The crew indicated that the center hydraulic system had malfunctioned.[6] The decision was made to continue to Warsaw in order to use up the heavy load of fuel needed for the transatlantic flight.[7] The aircraft proceeded to approach as normal, but aborted when the landing gear failed to deploy.[8]

Flight crew[edit]

Captain Tadeusz Wrona, a thirty-year veteran pilot with twenty years of experience on the 767, and first officer Jerzy Szwarc[9] informed Warsaw air traffic control (ATC) that they were unable to lower the landing gear due to a hydraulic system failure. The captain decided to circle the airport for over an hour, to consume excess fuel and to allow time for ground emergency services to prepare for the landing. Visual observation by two Polish Air Force F-16 fighter jets verified that none of the landing gear were down; attempts to lower the landing gear by alternative means failed.[10][11]

Preparation for landing[edit]

The airport was evacuated for the arrival of the aircraft, and roads around the airport were closed to accommodate emergency services. Other flights which were due into Warsaw were diverted to Kraków, Katowice, Poznań, Łódź and Gdańsk or returned to their point of departure.[11]

A total of 231 were on board, including 11 crew members.

At 14:40 CET the crew made a successful gear-up landing on Runway 33, with no injuries to anyone. The aircraft however, sustained substantial damage. All of those on board were evacuated within 90 seconds.[12]

The airport remained closed to traffic until 4:00 CET, 3 November 2011, to enable removal of crash debris and then a final inspection of runways and aprons.[13]

Shortly after the evacuation, a team from the Polish State Commission for Aircraft Accident Investigation arrived, and discovered that the C829 circuit breaker, which protects a number of systems including the alternate landing gear extension system was "popped". The C4248 breaker for the alternate landing gear remained closed.

After the plane was lifted off the runway, the C829 circuit breaker was closed, and the landing gear was extended, using the alternate system. The plane was then towed to the LOT maintenance hangar,[14] for repairs and further investigation.[15][16]

Poland's President Bronisław Komorowski thanked and praised the crew for their successful landing.[17]


The preliminary report found a hydraulic leak occurred shortly after takeoff (after the landing gear and flaps were retracted).[18] The leak was from a flexible hose in the center hydraulic system, resulting in the loss of all fluid in that system. The drop in pressure was indicated by the EICAS and recorded by the flight data recorder.[14][19] Later investigation indicated a popped circuit breaker just to the right of the F/O at floor level would have enabled the electric motor for releasing the undercarriage. The breaker was reset after landing and the undercarriage extended normally.[12]

Both the captain and the first officer held Airline Transport Pilot Licenses, accumulating over 25,000 hours of flying time between them, with over 15,000 of that being on 767 aircraft.[14]


  1. ^ "Awaryjne lądowanie Boeinga 767 zakwalifikowane jako wypadek". RMF24. Retrieved 2 November 2011. 
  2. ^ "Boeing 767 – MSN 28656 : LOT Polish Airlines". Airfleets.net. Retrieved 1 November 2011. 
  3. ^ Scislowska, Monika (3 November 2011). "Warsaw airport back to work after plane emergency". Associated Press via msnbc.com. Retrieved 3 November 2011. 
  4. ^ Boeing 767 SP-LPC zostanie sprzedany – Press information
  5. ^ SP-LPC LOT – Polish Airlines Boeing 767-35D(ER) – cn 28656 / ln 659. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  6. ^ "Dwie awarie w Boeingu 767. Pierwsze ustalenia komisji" (in Polish). Gazeta.pl. 2 November 2011. Retrieved 2 November 2011. 
  7. ^ "Stricken Polish Boeing made flawless landing". Associated Press. Retrieved 2 November 2011. 
  8. ^ Gera, Vanessa; Scislowska, Monika (1 November 2011). "Plane from US makes emergency landing in Warsaw". Denver Post. Retrieved 1 November 2011. 
  9. ^ "Nowosady. Jerzy Szwarc, drugi pilot boeinga 767, to nasza duma (zdjęcia)" (in Polish). Retrieved 2 November 2011. 
  10. ^ "Accident: LOT B763 at Warsaw on Nov 1st 2011, forced gear up landing". avherald.com. Retrieved 2015-11-10. 
  11. ^ a b "Flight From U.S. Makes Crash Landing in Poland; No Injuries Reported". Associated Press via Foxnews.com. 1 November 2011. Retrieved 3 November 2011. 
  12. ^ a b "Aviation Herald Report". Retrieved 1 November 2011. 
  13. ^ "Boeing bezpiecznie wylądował. "Pilot zrobił coś kapitalnego"". TVN24.pl (in Polish). 1 November 2011. Retrieved 1 November 2011. 
  14. ^ a b c Hradecky, Simon (1 December 2011). "Accident: LOT B763 at Warsaw on Nov 1st 2011, forced gear up landing". The Aviation Herald. 
  15. ^ "Boeing 767 zaraz po lądowaniu. Zobacz zdjęcia z bardzo bliska". Retrieved 3 November 2011. 
  16. ^ Scislowska, Monika (3 November 2011). "Polish monk on threatened flight thanks God, pilot". Associated Press via Atlanta Journal Constitution. Retrieved 3 November 2011. 
  17. ^ "Prezydent dziękował załodze Boeinga". Fakt (in Polish). 1 November 2011. Retrieved 1 November 2011. 
  18. ^ Preliminary report. 30 November 2011
  19. ^ "Polish Panstwowa Komisja Badania Wypadkow Lotniczych Report" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 November 2012. 

External links[edit]

External media
"Photograph of aircraft coming to rest". Aircraft-spotting.org. 1 November 2011. Retrieved 4 November 2011. 
skrzydla.org photo 2
Airliners.net photo
rmf24.pl video 2
Awaryjne Lądowanie – WARSZAWA 01.11.2011 Boeing 767 cz.4 (in Polish). 1 November 2011. 
Boeing 767 Newark-Warsaw Okecie LOT accident landing 01.11.11 (in Polish). 1 November 2011.