Spicejet DH8D at Delhi on Nov 8th 2017, tail strike on landing

Last Update: June 12, 2019 / 18:11:38 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Nov 8, 2017

Classification
Accident

Airline
Spicejet

Flight number
SG-2642

Destination
Delhi, India

Aircraft Registration
VT-SUL

ICAO Type Designator
DH8D

Airport ICAO Code
VIDP

A Spicejet de Havilland Dash 8-400, registration VT-SUL performing flight SG-2642 from Jabalpur to Delhi (India) with 72 passengers and 4 crew, landed on Delhi's runway 27 at 20:14L (14:44Z), however, the tail of the aircraft contacted the runway surface. The aircraft rolled out without further incident and taxied to the apron. There were no injuries, the aircraft sustained substantial damage.

The airline confirmed a tail strike on landing at Delhi, none of the passengers was injured. Visibility had not been an issue.

India's DGCA have opened an investigation into the occurrence.

The aircraft was still on the ground about 25 hours after landing.

On Jun 12th 2019 India's DGCA released their final report reporting the aircraft touched down hard at +3.77G followed by a tail strike and concluding the probable causes of the serious incident were:

Un-stabilized approach due to improper handling of controls i.e. Inadvertent pressing of GA button and movement of throttle below flight idle resulted in heavy landing and subsequently tail strike.

Contributory factors

- Error due to fixation to maintain Glide Slope.

- Depth perception due to low visibility.

- Not carrying out go around after inadvertently pressing GA button.

The DGAC reported the captain (37, ATPL, 2,786 hours total, thereof 470 hours in command) was pilot flying, the first officer (32, CPL, 921 hours total, 692 hours as first officer) was pilot monitoring. The crew became visual with the runway while descending through 500 feet AGL on approach to Delhi's runway 27, at 411 feet AGL the captain disconnected the autopilot but inadvertently pressed the Go-Around button at the same time. The flight director bars moved to 10 degrees nose up, the captain disengaged the flight directors and continued with reference to the PAPIs and approach lights. A high rate of descent developed which was countered by increasing power in order to maintain the glideslope. Crossing over the threshold the aircraft was high on the glide slope, the captain reduced power but inadvertently lifted the lock on the power levers and reduced power to below flight idle as result. A momentary warning sounded in the cockpit, the rate of descent increased, the captain applied pitch up commands but flared the aircraft too late, the aircraft touched down hard followed by a tail strike. The captain observed the indication "TOUCHED RWY" had illuminated, however, did not inform ATC. the aircraft taxied to the apron, where maintenance was called.

The DGCA stated: "The aircraft sustained damages confined to aft center fuselage & its structural components." A number of stringers and frames were buckled.

The DGCA analysed:

During approach for landing at around 500 feet AGL, crew got visual contact with runway and continued the approach. At around 411 feet AGL, the PIC disengaged the autopilot and simultaneously inadvertently pressed the GA button. As the GA button was pressed, the FD bars moved to 10° on Flight Director for go-around mode. The PIC disregarded the bar on Flight Director and continued approach visually. As the FD bars were showing GA pitch, the PIC had no reference other than approach lights & PAPI. During landing, there was high Rate of Descent and in order to reduce the decent, PIC increased power to maintain glide slope. During approach while over threshold of runway 27 the aircraft was above the glide slope and in order to correct the same, PIC reduced power. While reducing the power, the PIC lifted the lock of power lever and the power was reduced below flight idle. There was a momentary warning sound in the cockpit for the same. This reduction in power further increased the rate of descent. Due to low visibility prevailing at that time, the PIC had a depth perception and initiated flare very close to the runway by increasing the pitch attitude to 6.3°. This increase in pitch very close to the ground with high rate of descent resulted in hard landing with vertical acceleration of 3.77G and subsequent tail strike.

Metars:
VIDP 081600Z 00000KT 0400 R28/1600 R29/1200 FU NSC 18/15 Q1014 NOSIG=
VIDP 081530Z 00000KT 0400 R28/1400 R29/1200 FU NSC 20/15 Q1014 NOSIG=
VIDP 081500Z 00000KT 0400 R28/1300 R29/1100 FU NSC 21/16 Q1014 BECMG 0350 FG=
VIDP 081430Z 00000KT 0400 R28/1300 R29/1200 FU NSC 21/16 Q1014 BECMG 0350 FG=
VIDP 081400Z 00000KT 0400 R28/1300 R29/1000 FU NSC 22/16 Q1013 BECMG 0350 FG=
VIDP 081330Z 00000KT 0400 R28/1400 R29/1200 FU NSC 23/16 Q1013 NOSIG=
VIDP 081300Z 00000KT 0400 R28/1300 R29/1300 FU NSC 23/16 Q1013 NOSIG=
VIDP 081230Z 00000KT 0500 R28/1300 R29/1400 FU NSC 24/16 Q1013 NOSIG=
VIDP 081200Z 00000KT 0500 R28/1100 R29/1100 FU NSC 26/16 Q1013 NOSIG=
VIDP 081130Z 35005KT 0600 R28/0900 R29/0800 FU NSC 27/15 Q1013 NOSIG=
VIDP 081100Z 35005KT 0600 R28/0900 R29/0650 FU NSC 27/15 Q1013 NOSIG=
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Nov 8, 2017

Classification
Accident

Airline
Spicejet

Flight number
SG-2642

Destination
Delhi, India

Aircraft Registration
VT-SUL

ICAO Type Designator
DH8D

Airport ICAO Code
VIDP

This article is published under license from Avherald.com. © of text by Avherald.com.
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