On March 11, flight #AF423 departing from Bogota to Paris almost missed its takeoff from Bogota with 275 passengers and crew on board.

For a reason still unknown, the Airbus A340-300 took the entire length of the runway, before taking off in extremis at the end of the asphalt runway at only 1.5 meters height.

Bogota-El Dorado airport is located at 2,548 meters between two mountain in the Andes. The altitude reduces the power of the engines, but an A340 is able to take off safely from there.

A similar event, involved the same Air France aircraft (reg. F-GLZU) on 4 April as well as Lufthansa A340-300 last November.

Air France didn’t wait to react. The A340 involved in both incidents was removed from service and Air France has also decided to limit the cargo from 8 to 5 tonnes.

A meeting scheduled for next week between the investigators of Air France, BEA and Airbus may be able to find out more.

By Bruno Trévidic
More (in French) on Les Echos

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