Maldivian DHC6 at Dhoores on Nov 16th 2017, collided with sea swell on takeoff

Last Update: June 21, 2019 / 13:56:02 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Nov 16, 2017

Classification
Accident

Destination
Male, Maldives

Aircraft Registration
8Q-IAG

ICAO Type Designator
DHC6

A Maldivian de Havilland DHC-6-200 Twin Otter on floats, registration 8Q-IAG performing a flight from Dhoores Retreat Resort to Male (Maldives) with 12 passengers and 3 crew, was accelerating for takeoff when the right hand float collided with something and bent causing the aircraft to nearly keel over coming to a stop partially submerged with the cockpit under the water level. There were no injuries, the aircraft sustained substantial damage.

Maldives Civil Aviation Authority dispatched investigators on site and opened an investigation.

Initial information had been the aircraft collided with an object in the water causing the right float to be bent.

In a preliminary report dated March 7th 2018 Maldives CAA reported in summary:

At the time of the accident, the weather at the departure point was bad. The aircraft was on takeoff roll accelerating when it struck a sea swell and bounced and struck hard on the second swell and continued to strike a third swell. On striking the second swell the crew felt that the right float got detached and on striking the third swell the crew realized that the left float also got detached pushing the aircraft nose into water. The propellers struck the floats cutting into them, damaging the propellers, and stopping the engines. The detached floats were trapped under the wings keeping the aircraft afloat with the nose immersed in water. Water then started rushing into the aircraft.

All 12 passengers and three crew were able to evacuate the aircraft without physical injury. Passenger bags were removed. The aircraft was towed and secured at the floating platform.

The investigation is still ongoing.

On Jun 21st 2019 Maldives' CAA released their final report concluding the probable cause of the accident was:

The take-off attempt was made in bad weather, not to the most appropriate direction and with unusually longer swell distances.

The CAA provided following synopsis of the accident:

At the time of the accident, the weather at the departure point was bad. The aircraft was on take-off roll accelerating when it struck a sea swell, bounced and struck hard on a second swell, continued and struck a third swell. On striking the second swell the crew felt that the right float got detached and on striking the third swell the crew realized that the left float also got detached that pushed the aircraft nose into water. At this point the engines were shut down by the PIC. The floats were cut and the propellers were damaged due to propellers striking the floats. The detached floats were trapped under the wings keeping the aircraft afloat with the nose immersed in water. Water then started rushing into the aircraft.

All 12 passengers and three crew were able to evacuate the aircraft without physical injury. Passenger bags were recovered. The aircraft was towed and secured at the floating platform.

The captain (34, ATPL, 5,899 hours total, 5,599 hours on type) was pilot monitoring, the first officer (43, ATPL, 4,974 hours total, 4,705 hours on type) was pilot flying.

The CAA analysed:

No abnormalities were reported during any of the previous flights of the day. Examinations carried out on the wreckage revealed no evidence of any technical defects which could have contributed to the accident.

The accident occurred during the take-off run from DOR in bad weather. There were 3 or 4 different patterns of swells, which is normal in DOR. As a 90 degree cross wind take-off, parallel to the swell would have put the Island directly on the take-off path. Therefore the chosen take-off path was keeping the island to the port side (left) of the aircraft.

During the take-off run, the aircraft struck a swell which was more like a small bump. The aircraft continued the take-off when it struck the second swell on the right float. The crew felt that the right float got detached when it hit the second swell. The crew tried to adjust the speed on every bounce by lowering the nose primarily to ride the swells and avoid heavy impact on the next swell. On impacting the third swell, the left float also got partially detached and the propellers cut into the floats before the aircraft came to a stop.

The engine shutdown procedures and evacuation of the passengers and crew took place in accordance with the procedures laid down in the OM.
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Nov 16, 2017

Classification
Accident

Destination
Male, Maldives

Aircraft Registration
8Q-IAG

ICAO Type Designator
DHC6

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