Aviation safety investigations & reports

Engine pod strike involving Boeing 737-8FE, VH-YIW at Faleolo International Airport, Samoa on 23 April 2016

Investigation number:
Status: Active
Investigation in progress
Phase: Final report: Internal review Read more information on this investigation phase


On 23 April 2016, a Virgin Australia Boeing 737-800 aircraft, registered VH-YIW, was being operated as flight VA91 from Auckland, New Zealand to Apia, Samoa. During the final approach and landing at Faleolo International Airport, the weather conditions consisted of heavy rain and gusting winds. The crew reported touching down firmly, making first contact on the right main gear.

A subsequent, routine flight data review by Virgin Australia on 26 April 2016 identified that a firm landing had taken place, consistent with the landing at Apia. The aircraft was inspected and a pod strike was identified on the No. 2 (right) engine.

The ATSB was notified of the hard landing on 26 April 2016 and initiated an investigation.

General details
Date: 23 April 2016   Investigation status: Active  
Time: 09:00 UTC   Investigation level: Complex - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Faleolo International Airport   Investigation phase: Final report: Internal review  
State: International   Occurrence type: Ground strike  
  Occurrence category: Serious Incident  
Report status: Pending   Highest injury level: None  
Anticipated completion: 1st Quarter 2020    

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer The Boeing Company  
Aircraft model 737-8FE  
Aircraft registration VH-YIW  
Serial number 40700  
Operator Virgin Australia International Airlines  
Type of operation Air Transport Low Capacity  
Sector Jet  
Damage to aircraft Unknown  
Departure point Auckland, NZ  
Destination Apia, Samoa  
Last update 11 October 2019