A Boeing 737-700 operated by African carrier LAM Mozambique has sustained nose damage after colliding with an object on approach while operating a domestic flight.

Flight TM136 departed from Maputo at 1535 local time on Jan. 5 and was scheduled to arrive at Tete in north west Mozambique at 1715. There were 80 passengers and six crew members on board at the time of the incident.

In a statement, LAM said the aircraft was on approach to Tete when the crew heard a loud noise, suggesting a collision with a foreign object.

The aircraft landed normally; a follow-up ground inspection revealed that the aircraft’s nose had been damaged.

Photographs posted to social media show several serious dents and tears to the right-hand side of the 737-700’s nose cone.

There is no obvious bird debris on the aircraft and unconfirmed media reports suggest the aircraft could have collided with a drone, although this has not been substantiated by ATW.

LAM reported the incident to the Mozambique authorities and the aircraft has since been grounded, causing some disruption to LAM’s operations.

A Boeing spokesman said it far too early to give a comment, as too little information is currently available.

Drone regulation has become a high-priority topic over recent months after several near misses with commercial aircraft in 2016.

Victoria Moores victoria.moores@penton.com