Qatar Jet Crashes Into MIA Runway Lights While Taking Off, Causing ‘Substantial’ Damage

A Qatar Airways jet narrowly avoided disaster while taking off from MIA last week. The incident was serious enough to be classified as an accident by the FAA.

On September 15, the Qatar 777-300 crashed into approach lights at the end of the runway, yet somehow still managed to get off the ground. Upon landing in Doha, the airline informed the FAA that the underbelly of the aircraft sustained ‘substantial’ damage. The plane has been grounded since the incident.

The lights are just 20 feet off the ground, and are located 200 feet past the end of the runway. A notice to airmen (NOTAM) says that they will be out of service for a month.

Despite the crash, the flight did not return for an emergency landing or visual inspection, and instead continued with the 13.5-hour flight to Doha.

For unknown reasons, Qatar pilots did not use the full 13,016 feet of the airport’s runway 09, according to data from the flight. Instead, the pilots used an intersection into the runway that left them with just 8,500 feet for takeoff.

Qatar did not report the number of passengers aboard. The aircraft has the capacity to carry 335 passengers, and Qatar carried an average of 289 passengers on flights to or from MIA in the most recent month for which statistics are available (July).