Argentinian Boeing 737 Takes a Whirlwind Ride in Devastating Storm

A parked Aerolíneas Argentinas Boeing 737 became an unwilling ballerina in a fierce windstorm that ravaged Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Sunday, December 17th, 2023. The powerful gusts, exceeding 140 kilometers per hour, ripped through the Ministro Pistarini International Airport (EZE), manhandling the massive aircraft and spinning it a staggering 90 degrees.


Caught on Camera

The dramatic incident was captured on video and quickly went viral, showcasing the raw power of the storm. The footage shows the Boeing 737, tail facing the camera, seemingly anchored in place by its landing gear. Suddenly, a violent gust slams into the aircraft, and within seconds, it pivots like a toy plane, ending up perpendicular to its original position.


More Than Just a Spin

This wasn't just a close call for the grounded aircraft. The storm caused widespread damage across the airport, with dozens of planes, including 16 Aerolíneas Argentinas jets, sustaining various degrees of harm from flying debris and lightning strikes. Six dozen flights were also canceled due to the chaotic weather conditions.

A Stark Reminder of Nature's Fury

The incident serves as a stark reminder of the immense power of nature and the potential dangers posed by extreme weather events. While fortunately, no injuries were reported in this instance, the damage caused highlights the importance of robust safety protocols and preparedness measures for airports and airlines operating in regions prone to such storms.

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Investigating the Cause

Aerolíneas Argentinas is currently investigating the incident to determine the extent of the damage to the Boeing 737 and assess the cause of its unexpected pirouette. The windward positioning of the aircraft, coupled with the lack of chocks or tie-downs, likely played a significant role in its susceptibility to the powerful gusts.

Lessons Learned

The Buenos Aires windstorm incident underscores the need for continuous improvement in aircraft ground handling procedures and infrastructure resilience in the face of increasingly unpredictable weather patterns. As climate change continues to alter weather systems, ensuring the safety of grounded aircraft and airport personnel during extreme weather events will become ever more crucial. This event also serves as a valuable learning opportunity for airlines and aviation authorities worldwide. By sharing data and best practices from such incidents, the industry can work collaboratively to develop and implement even more robust safety measures, mitigating the risks posed by powerful winds and other extreme weather phenomena.


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