Earlier I posted the insane video footage of a Royal Air Maroc 737 struggling to take off at Frankfurt Airport.
In the video you can see a Royal Air Maroc 737-700 lift its nose but struggle to take off. It very briefly gets airborne (which could have led to a stall), but then the pilots bring it back down, continue to accelerate, and then finally take off.
We ultimately don’t know what caused the incident. It could have been that the pilots didn’t use enough flaps. It could have been that the pilots had the takeoff speed wrong. Or it could have been any of a number of other things.
Even if the pilots caused it, their recovery in the incident was excellent, it would seem.
The Aviation Herald covered this incident, including the bizarre explanation that Royal Air Maroc provided of the incident on Twitter, which roughly translates as follows:
“Following dissemination of false information about flight AT-811 of July 23rd, Frankfurt – Casablanca, we wish to clarify that Frankfurt tower advised the captain of our flight in question of possible wake turbulence as result of a simultaneous landing of an A330. As result the captain performed a maneuver to accelerate in order to achieve speeds which permitted safe takeoff.”
This suggests that the pilot intentionally performed the maneuver to avoid wake turbulence.
I’m not an airline pilot, though I showed the video and Royal Air Maroc’s explanation to a friend who’s a 737 captain, and his response was simply “wtf?”
I know I have quite a few readers who are Boeing pilots, so let me throw it out there… is the “almost have a tail strike, then get airborne at stall-worthy speeds, and then get back on the runway to gain enough speed” maneuver something others are familiar with, or is it something only Royal Air Maroc trains their pilots to do?
I understand Royal Air Maroc probably wants to save face here, but it seems like “we’re investigating the incident” may have been a better answer.
Truly a bizarre explanation…