Damage To Radome Thought To Be Caused By Airflow Pressure
Damage to a Linhas Aereas de Mocambique (LAM) Boeing 737 on approach to Tete, the capital of Mozambique, that was first reported to be caused by an impact with a drone turned out to be a structural failure on the airplane.
The drone-strike story was widely reported at late last week. USA Today reported that the crew heard a crash, and reported that the aircraft had impacted "an external body" according to the LAM Facebook page.
The airplane landed normally, and was inspected. A bird strike was ruled out because of the absence of feathers and blood in the damaged area ... and many jumped to the conclusion that it must have hit a drone. One reported breathlessly that a "drone ripped a series of holes in a passenger plane as it came in to land."
But on January 10, the Mozambique Civil Aviation Authority said that the damage to the radome of the aircraft was most probably "a structural failure caused by airflow pressure, contributing factors probably were a defective installation of the radome and inspection of the ribs." The agency ruled out foreign object damage, according to a report from the website The Digital Circuit, citing information gathered by AV Herald.