An Ethiopian Airlines Cargo MD-11F suffered minor damage following a tail-tipping incident in Addis Ababa two months ago.

The image reveals that the MD-11F suffered problems while loading the aircraft, leading to the tail hitting the ground.

One aircraft expert noted that this was a familiar problem for MD-11 operators, and that in the worst circumstances it could lead to scrapping the aircraft. “A tail-tipping is always bad,” he said. “The MD11F is extremely sensitive to this. Depending on the structural damage and repair scheme an aircraft could be out of service for at least six weeks.

“The crucial section is the rear pressure bulkhead. If damaged (depending on the impact and if the aircraft was loaded) the repair would take longer.”

Ethiopian operates two MD-11F aircraft.


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  • Qasim Khan

    April 07, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    Most of the tipping of MD-11F occurred due to wrong sequence of un-loading or loading of the aircraft.
    I have operated lots of MD-11F flight to and from Addis Abbaba ADD airport. Still we are operating a weekly flight to ADD, but this never happens to other operators. The Cargo Ramp of ADD airport is not normal. when the aircraft is parked at cargo area,and loading starts, the cargo moves to back and some parking bay it moves to forward without any pushing of the cargo. its mean you have to be more vigilant and have to erect restrain to stop the cargo to move backward. The operators of MD-11F should use tethering of the aircraft for the safety of the aircraft. The other cause of the tipping of the aircraft is unqualified cargo handlers.
    Load Master Qasim Khan