An unfortunate accident occurred at Conakry’s Ahmed Sékou Touré International Airport on September 2 when a TAP Air Portugal Airbus A320neo collided with a motorbike while landing, resulting in the death of two riders. The CS-TVI registered Airbus A320 neo, performing flight TP1492 on the Lisbon-Conakry route, had landed at the destination airport just prior to midnight local time, shortly before it hit the motorcycle on the runway. Without further ado, let’s go over the details.
On September 2, 2022, TAP Air Portugal TP1492, a regularly scheduled flight from Lisbon (LIS), Portugal, to Conakry (CKY), Guinea, took off from the departure airport and landed on runway 24 at Guinea’s Ahmed Sékou Touré International Airport at around 11:40 pm. The Airbus A320neo operated the flight normally, and everything seemed to be on a roll. But things took a turn when the right-hand side engine of the aircraft collided with a motorbike while still on the runway. Two people on a bike were attempting to cross the runway at a time the A320 neo had just landed. The collision was deadly as it took the lives of both occupants of the motorbike.
The two occupants of the motorcycle, identified as a security officer and an airport employee, were riding off on the runway attempting to cross it when their bike struck the right-hand engine nacelle of an Airbus A320 during the landing roll. The aircraft managed to roll out without further incident; however, both riders lost their lives as a result of the collision.
After hitting two people on the motorbike, the aircraft suffered significant damage to its engine two, but all passengers and crew on board were unharmed. Due to the accident, the return flight TP 1493 to Lisbon’s Humberto Delgado Airport was canceled. The Civil Aviation Authority of Guinea (AGAC) has taken the matter into its hands and opened an investigation into the accident supported by the SOGEAC Safety and Security Department to determine the causes and responsibilities of the parties involved.
Almost 24 hours after landing, the involved aircraft still remains on the ground at Conakry Airport. The flight data shows that prior to the Conakry flight, the Airbus A320 had operated the Porto-Lisbon flight before flying to Sal in Cape Verde and back.
Airport’s statement regarding the accident
Ahmed Sékou Touré International Airport, also known as Gbessia International Airport, released a press statement confirming the accident on the night of September 2, 2022. Both the identified driver and passenger riding the motorcycle were airport employees, the former one being a security guard charged with the responsibility of securing the airport fence.
The airport authorities, along with TAP Air Portugal, expressed their sincere condolences to the bereaved families for the loss of two lives. The airport authority also reminded travelers that the air traffic was open and flights would resume effectively in the morning.
Regarding the accident, TAP Air Portugal has also issued a statement saying the accident occurred despite following all safety procedures, and the carrier was naturally collaborating with the local authorities for the investigation of the circumstances that culminated in such a regrettable situation.
TAP Air Portugal A320
The aircraft that hit the motorbike on landing in Conakry, Guinea, is one and half-year-old TAP Air Portugal Airbus A320neo. The Portuguese flag carrier took the delivery of the 174-seat narrow body jet in April 2021. The Lisbon-headquartered airline is an all-Airbus operator and owns a fleet of 11 Airbus A320neos with four units on order. It is one of the youngest fleets with an average age of just 2.8 years and serves short and medium-haul routes of the state-owned carrier.
Earlier incident at Ahmed Sékou Touré International Airport
Earlier on August 29, Turkish Airlines Airbus A330-200 flight number TK 537 operating on the Ouagadougou (OUA)-Conakry (CKY) route was carrying 134 passengers and approaching Ahmed Sékou Touré International Airport when it encountered severe turbulence, causing injury to the passengers. The extreme turbulence hit the plane over West Africa and injured five passengers. The plane landed uneventfully, and the injured flyers were subsequently taken to the hospital after being assessed by the medics.
Ahmed Sékou Touré International Airport is a public air facility serving the capital of the Republic of West Africa, built-in 1945. The airport handles over 500k passengers every year ferried by carriers like Air Cote d’Ivoire, Air France, Air Senegal, ASKY Airlines, Emirates, TAP Air Portugal, Turkish Airlines, etc.