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AERO - Boeing Assistance in Airplane Recovery
AERO - Boeing Assistance in Airplane Recovery

Airlines need to have an effective plan in place to quickly recover an airplane following an incident. Boeing has a team of experienced airplane recovery experts that advise airlines on how to prepare and execute effective airplane recovery. The goal is to minimize the time required to perform a safe and successful recovery operation with no secondary damage.

By Jerry Paluszek, Lead Principal Engineer, Maintenance Tooling and Facilities/Airplane Recovery, Maintenance and Ground Operation Systems

Boeing provides recovery resources and services from documents and tools to comprehensive airplane recovery services.

Quick and decisive actions are essential for effective airplane recovery. Boeing can help operators develop recovery plans and offers on-site airplane recovery assistance. In roughly 80 percent of recoveries the airplane involved has left a hard surface during inclement weather.

This article explains Boeing’s role in airplane recovery, including designing recovery options during airplane development, special recovery tools, airplane recovery documents, ongoing customer support, and complete incident recovery and repair services.


During airplane development, Boeing designs tool commonality and a number of airplane recovery options into the airplane to help ensure future airplane recoveries occur with no or minimal secondary damage.

Boeing establishes airplane recovery requirements in five key areas during airplane development:

Figure 1: Tethering on the 777
Boeing provides operators with detailed diagrams showing locations for tethering to reduce or eliminate the chances of secondary damage.

Figure 1


Boeing has designed special tools and equipment to support the lifting, stabilizing, moving, support, and general requirements associated with an airplane recovery operation. These tools include both single- and twin-aisle fuselage lifting/tethering slings and a main landing gear hoist assembly designed for the 777 (see figs. 2, 3, and 4).

Additional resources are also available from the International Airlines Technical Pool. Through the organization, member airlines can obtain recovery kits which include the basic equipment needed for a successful recovery.

Figure 2: Twin-aisle fuselage sling for lifting
Boeing sling assembly in lifting position. Only one sling position is used for primary lifting (forward or aft). The second sling is positioned for stabilization only — not to be used for full airplane lift.

Figure 2

Figure 3: Fuselage sling for tethering
Boeing sling assembly in tethering position.

Figure 3

Figure 4: Sling for lifting 777 from main landing gear
Boeing has designed a special hoist assembly that can be used to lift a 777 with intact main landing gear.

Figure 4


Boeing creates airplane recovery documents specific to each model that specify appropriate recovery tools and methods and address environmental concerns related to airplane recovery. These documents — which are revised for new airplane model derivatives and on an as-required basis for current models — are provided to the airline 90 days prior to its first airplane delivery.

Boeing airplane recovery documents comply with the Air Transport Association (ATA) 100/2100 (digital) specification, which details information such as weight and CG management, preparation, weight reduction, leveling and lifting, moving the airplane, post-recovery, and special recovery tools. The 787 will conform to the new ATA iSpec 2200.

Boeing provides airplane recovery documents for each airplane type:


Boeing is committed to keeping airline customers apprised of new technologies in airplane recovery equipment and methods. To this end, Boeing coordinates with equipment suppliers to learn about new products and their suitability for airplane recovery operations. Airplane recovery procedures and new equipment listings are updated in the recovery documents after their effectiveness has been established.

Airlines can also take advantage of educational opportunities, including airplane recovery exercises. In addition, Boeing provides continuous and ongoing support for special tools and equipment design, information and consultation, technical services support, airplane recovery familiarization training, and on-site airplane recovery technical services.


When requested by an airline, Boeing provides on-site comprehensive, integrated assistance to recover a disabled or damaged Boeing airplane wherever in the world it is located. Requests for such assistance are submitted to Boeing Field Service representatives.

Boeing recovery support includes diagnosis, repairs, logistics, parts procurement, certification issues, and other services as dictated by the specific recovery.

Boeing’s goal is to assist the airline operator to return the airplane to service with as little disruption to the airline’s schedules as possible and to streamline the operator’s communication with all departments of Boeing, as well as with applicable regulatory agencies.

Boeing offers:

Boeing also assists airlines with:


Airplane recovery preparedness is essential to the successful operation of every airline. Boeing assists customers with a variety of airplane recovery resources and services, ranging from airplane recovery documents and tools to comprehensive airplane recovery services.

For more information, contact Jerry Paluszek.

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