LOT Polish Airlines Flight 16

LOT Polish Airlines Flight 16 was a Boeing 767 passenger jet on a scheduled service from Newark, United States, to Warsaw, Poland, that on 1 November 2011 made a successful gear-up emergency landing at Warsaw Chopin Airport, after its landing gear failed to extend. All 231 aboard survived without serious injuries. A leak in one of the aircraft's hydraulic systems occurred shortly after takeoff, resulting in the loss of all of the hydraulic fluid supplying the primary landing gear system.[1]

LOT Polish Airlines Flight 16
SP-LPC B767-35DER LOT Polish Airlines LPA 04NOV00 (6811321396).jpg
the Boeing 767 involved in the accident
Date1 November 2011 (2011-11-01)
SummaryBelly landing following hydraulic failure
SiteWarsaw Chopin Airport, Warsaw, Poland
52°09′56″N 20°58′02″E / 52.16556°N 20.96722°E / 52.16556; 20.96722Coordinates: 52°09′56″N 20°58′02″E / 52.16556°N 20.96722°E / 52.16556; 20.96722
Aircraft typeBoeing 767-300ER
Aircraft namePoznań
OperatorLOT Polish Airlines
Flight originNewark Liberty International Airport, Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
DestinationWarsaw Chopin Airport, Warsaw, Poland

History of the flightEdit

LOT Polish Airlines Flight 16 was scheduled to arrive at Warsaw Chopin Airport from Newark Liberty International Airport on 1 November 2011 at 13:35 CET with 220 passengers and 11 crew on board. The aircraft operating the service was a Boeing 767-35DER, registered SP-LPC, named Poznań, serial number 28656. It was first delivered to LOT in 1997.[2][3]

Within 30 minutes of departing from Newark, the crew received a warning that the center hydraulic system had malfunctioned.[4] The decision was made to continue to Warsaw in order to use up the heavy load of fuel needed for the transatlantic flight.[5] The aircraft proceeded to approach as normal, but aborted when the landing gear failed to deploy.[6]

The crew informed Warsaw air traffic control (ATC) that they were unable to lower the landing gear due to a hydraulic system failure. The captain decided to circle the airport for over an hour, to consume excess fuel and to allow time for ground emergency services to prepare for the landing. Visual observation by two Polish Air Force F-16 fighter jets verified that none of the landing gear were down; attempts to lower the landing gear by alternative means failed.[7][8]

Preparation for landingEdit

The airport was evacuated for the arrival of the aircraft, and roads around the airport were closed to accommodate emergency services. Other flights which were due into Warsaw were diverted or returned to their point of departure.[8]

At 14:40 CET the crew made a successful gear-up landing on Runway 33, with no injuries to anyone. The aircraft however, sustained substantial damage, resulting in a hull loss. All of those on board were evacuated within 90 seconds.[9]

The airport remained closed to traffic until 16:00 CET, 3 November 2011, to enable removal of crash debris and then a final inspection of runways and aprons.[10]

Shortly after the evacuation, a team from the Polish State Commission on Aircraft Accidents Investigation (SCAAI) arrived, and discovered that the C829 circuit breaker, which protects a number of systems including the alternate landing gear extension system was "popped". The C4248 breaker for the alternate landing gear remained closed.

After the plane was lifted off the runway, the C829 circuit breaker was closed, and the landing gear was extended, using the alternate system. The plane was then towed to the LOT maintenance hangar,[11] for further investigation.[12][13]

Flight crewEdit

Captain Tadeusz Wrona in 2012

The captain of flight 16 was Tadeusz Wrona, a 57-year-old veteran pilot with twenty years of experience on the 767. Both the captain and first officer Jerzy Szwarc held Airline Transport Pilot Licenses, accumulating over 25,000 hours of flying time between them, of which 15,000 were on 767 aircraft.[14][11]


The preliminary report by the SCAAI found that a hydraulic leak occurred shortly after takeoff, after the landing gear and flaps were retracted.[15] The leak was from a flexible hose in the center hydraulic system, resulting in the loss of all fluid in that system. The drop in pressure was indicated by the EICAS and recorded by the flight data recorder.[11][16] Later investigation indicated a popped circuit breaker just to the right of the F/O at floor level would have enabled the electric motor for releasing the undercarriage. The breaker was reset after landing and the undercarriage extended normally.[9]

The final report of the accident was released in 2017. The causes of the accident were the center hydraulic hose leak, the popped circuit breaker, and pilot error due to the flight crew failing to detect the breaker.[17]


Polish President Bronisław Komorowski praised the crew and thanked them for their successful landing.[18] The Boeing 767, registration SP-LPC, was damaged extensively to the point that LOT deemed the aircraft a hull loss.[19] The accident represents the 14th hull loss of a Boeing 767.[20] Two years after the incident, in November of 2013, the aircraft was scrapped.[21] As of February 2020, the flight is operated by Airbus A340 and Boeing 787 of Air Belgium and LOT Polish Airlines respectively. The airline ended its Boeing 767 service by 2013 and was replaced by the Boeing 787.


  1. ^ "Awaryjne lądowanie Boeinga 767 zakwalifikowane jako wypadek" [The emergency landing of a Boeing 767 classified as an accident]. RMF24. Retrieved 2 November 2011.
  2. ^ "Boeing 767 – MSN 28656 : LOT Polish Airlines". airfleets.net. Airfleets aviation. Retrieved 1 November 2011.
  3. ^ Scislowska, Monika (3 November 2011). "Warsaw airport back to work after plane emergency". Associated Press via NBC News. Retrieved 3 November 2011.
  4. ^ "Dwie awarie w Boeingu 767. Pierwsze ustalenia komisji" [Two failures in Boeing 767. First findings of the commission] (in Polish). Gazeta.pl. 2 November 2011. Retrieved 2 November 2011.
  5. ^ "Stricken Polish Boeing made flawless landing". Associated Press. Retrieved 2 November 2011.
  6. ^ Gera, Vanessa; Scislowska, Monika (1 November 2011). "Plane from US makes emergency landing in Warsaw". Denver Post. Retrieved 1 November 2011.
  7. ^ "Accident: LOT B763 at Warsaw on Nov 1st 2011, forced gear up landing". avherald.com. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  8. ^ a b "Flight From U.S. Makes Crash Landing in Poland; No Injuries Reported". Fox News. Associated Press. 1 November 2011. Retrieved 3 November 2011.
  9. ^ a b "Aviation Herald Report". Retrieved 1 November 2011.
  10. ^ "Boeing bezpiecznie wylądował. "Pilot zrobił coś kapitalnego"". TVN24.pl (in Polish). 1 November 2011. Retrieved 1 November 2011.
  11. ^ a b c Hradecky, Simon (1 December 2011). "Accident: LOT B763 at Warsaw on Nov 1st 2011, forced gear up landing". The Aviation Herald.
  12. ^ "Boeing 767 zaraz po lądowaniu. Zobacz zdjęcia z bardzo bliska". Retrieved 3 November 2011.
  13. ^ Scislowska, Monika (3 November 2011). "Polish monk on threatened flight thanks God, pilot". Atlanta Journal Constitution. Associated Press. Retrieved 3 November 2011.
  14. ^ "Nowosady. Jerzy Szwarc, drugi pilot boeinga 767, to nasza duma (zdjęcia)" [Nowosady. Jerzy Szwarc, co-pilot of the Boeing 767, is our pride (photos)]. Kurier Poranny (in Polish). 1 November 2011. Retrieved 2 November 2011.
  15. ^ Preliminary report. 30 November 2011
  16. ^ "Polish Panstwowa Komisja Badania Wypadkow Lotniczych Report" [Polish State Commission on Aircraft Accident Investigation Report] (PDF) (in Polish). Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 November 2012.
  17. ^ "Final report" (PDF). State Commission on Aircraft Accidents Investigation. 18 December 2017. Retrieved 15 September 2020.
  18. ^ "Prezydent dziękował załodze Boeinga" [The president thanked the Boeing crew]. Fakt (in Polish). 1 November 2011. Archived from the original on 3 November 2011. Retrieved 1 November 2011.
  19. ^ Boeing 767 SP-LPC zostanie sprzedany – Press information
  20. ^ Ranter, Harro. "ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 767-35DER SP-LPC Warszawa-Frédéric Chopin Airport (WAW)". aviation-safety.net. Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 15 September 2020.
  21. ^ "SP-LPC LOT – Polish Airlines Boeing 767-35D(ER) – cn 28656 / ln 659". www.planespotters.net. Retrieved 26 November 2013.

External linksEdit

External media
  "Photograph of aircraft coming to rest". Aircraft-spotting.org. 1 November 2011. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
  Airliners.net photo
  Boeing 767 Newark-Warsaw Okecie LOT accident landing 01.11.11 (in Polish). 1 November 2011.