Syrian A320 Lands Safely after Helicopter Midair

Airliner loses large section of its tail.

Syrian A320 Midair
Syrian A320 Midair

In an apparent example of superior airmanship by an Airbus A320 crew, a Syrian Arab Airlines flight traveling from Damascus to Latakia, Syria, last week landed safely after an Mi-8 military helicopter collided with the airliner, lopping off a large section of its tail.

The incident reportedly happened as the airliner was climbing through 12,000 feet over war-torn Syria. The helicopter clipped the upper half of the vertical stabilizer and rudder, causing the pieces to separate from the airliner and the helicopter to crash, killing its crew. The A320 was able to return to Damascus for a safe landing with no injuries to the 200 passengers or crew.

According to news reports, a replacement A320 completed the flight to Latakia and onward to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates with a delay of just a few hours.