TAM A320 at Brasilia on Apr 8th 2015, touched down before runway during go around

Last Update: February 20, 2019 / 21:45:34 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Apr 8, 2015

Classification
Report

Flight number
JJ-3451

Destination
Brasilia, Brazil

Aircraft Registration
PR-MHV

Aircraft Type
Airbus A320

ICAO Type Designator
A320

A TAM Linhas Aereas Airbus A320-200, registration PR-MHV performing flight JJ-3451 from Recife,PE to Brasilia,DF (Brazil) with 154 passengers and 6 crew, was on final RNAV Y approach to Brasilia's runway 29R with the runway in sight upon reaching the Minimum Descent Altitude (MDA). The crew disconnected the autopilot and continued visually when light rain set in quickly developing into heavy rain causing the crew to lose visual contact with the runway. The crew initiated a go around, the aircraft continued to descend however, the right main gear touched down about 13 meters ahead of the runway threshold and contacted and crushed a runway threshold hight before the aircraft became fully airborne again after the right main gear had rolled on the runway surface for about 31 meters. The aircraft positioned for another approach and landed safely.

Brazil's CENIPA released their final report concluding the probable causes of the serious incident were:

Visual illusions – undetermined.

It is possible that crew sensory impressions were affected by the rain at the final approach. Thus, crew can have recognized the runway position (vertically or horizontally) wrongly while they had visual references.

Influence from the environment – a contributor.

The crew lost visual contact with the runway due to reduced visibility caused by heavy rain.

It is also possible that a low-level light windshear/downburst affected the aircraft glidepath.

Piloting judgment – undetermined.

It is possible that the crew had initiated a late go-around in the attempt to reestablish visual contact with the runway.

However, the crew initiated the reject landing procedure at 41ft height in relation to RWY 29R TDZE.

The CENIPA analysed:

SBBR area was surrounded by unstable atmospheric conditions, as verified on meteorological messages and on satellite images.

Convective clouds, such as TCU and isolated CBs, were moving and intensifying above the region.

In accordance with aforementioned forecast information (TAF, SIGMET and GAMET), a METAR report also indicated rainfall, TCU, CB and thunderstorms.

Synoptic conditions and meteorological phenomena at the moment of the occurrence were favorable for rainfall, reduced visibility, strong wind/gusting wind conditions and windshear associated with TCU and CB rainfall.

Shortly before PR-MHV approach, visibility was about 3,000m due to light rain at the airport.

During the final approach, below the Minimum Descent Altitude (MDA), with visual references for runway 29R, the crew decided to disengage the autopilot and continue the approach using visual references.

Closer to the runway, the crew encountered light rain conditions that quickly became heavy rain. It was not possible to determine the exact moment the crew lost visual contact with the runway. However, the investigation could verify that, at 3,740 ft/370 ft AGL, PRMHV descent rate increased gradually, and at 3,590 ft/160 ft AGL the aircraft was below the glide slope.

It is likely that the glide path gradual descent was due to the visual illusion caused by the rain on the aircraft windshield and further loss of visual contact with the runway.

After losing visual references and realizing the aircraft was below the correct glide path, the crew decided to go around. On this moment, the aircraft was about 3,521 ft/60 ft AGL.

Considering the terrain relief prior to the threshold 29R and the TDZE altitude, PRMHV was about 41ft height (in relation to the runway) at the moment the crew initiated the go-around.

As prescribed by the manufacturer on FCTM, the aircraft loses some altitude during a go-around until the development of the required power by engines. It also states that a temporary landing gear contact with the runway is acceptable.

This altitude loss would be greater if initial thrust was close to idle and/or the aircraft speed was lower than VApp.

It is possible that, in addition to the predicted loss of altitude, a light windshear/downburst arriving at the airport area had favored the touchdown prior to the runway threshold.

The PWS likely did not emit any warning because the aircraft was near the detection limit.

GS Mini variations and the wind intensity and direction variations in the final moments of approach are other clues of the meteorological phenomenon (windshear/downburst).
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Apr 8, 2015

Classification
Report

Flight number
JJ-3451

Destination
Brasilia, Brazil

Aircraft Registration
PR-MHV

Aircraft Type
Airbus A320

ICAO Type Designator
A320

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