Trans Maldivian DHC6 at Kuredhu Island on Feb 24th 2020, bounced landing, wing tip dipped into water

Last Update: July 29, 2021 / 15:56:33 GMT/Zulu time

Bookmark this article
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Feb 24, 2020


Aircraft Registration

ICAO Type Designator

A Trans Maldivian de Havilland DHC-6-300, registration 8Q-MBC performing a charter flight from Male to Kuredhu Island (Maldives) with 15 passengers and 3 crew, was landing at Kuredhu Island's designated but unmarked water runway, touched down but bounced. While the aircraft was still airborne after the bounce the aircraft banked left, the left wing tip dipped into the water and the aircraft veered to the left, the right wing dropped. The aircraft came to a stop with both floats still intact and in an upright position, the aircraft was moved to a buoy with the left hand engine and a dingy. Two crew and a passenger received minor injuries, the aircraft sustained substantial damage.

On Jul 29th 2020 the Maldives Accident Investigation Coordinating Committee released their preliminary report stating the first officer (31, CPL, 1,007 hours total, 768 hours on type) was pilot flying, the captain (31, CPL, 4,436 hours total, 2,774 hours on type) was pilot monitoring.

The AICC summarized the sequence of events:

According to the flight crew, no abnormalities were observed throughout the flight. Descent began 15 mins prior to landing at Kuredhu, and the FO gave the briefing and descent checks were carried out. The FO requested the PIC to ‘standby for the line’ and when the Kuredhu was visible, the FO also infomed the PIC that this will be “Right base for north east bound landing”. The FO reported seeing white caps and the waters were choppy but was confident of landing in such rough waters, as having done similar landings even the week before. The FO communicated the line to the PIC and stated “in case of goaround we will climb to 500 feet as per the SOP”. The PIC advised the FO to keep the aircraft slightly t the left, closer to the reef, just on the lighter blue area, as it was believed that this area was relatively calmer. The FO reported that around 400 feet FO called out for full flap and max rpm, and repeated for a second time “that in case of ground we will climb to 500 feet as per the SOP” and FO stated that there was no obstruction.

The PIC confirmed landing just outside the lagoon and about 10 degrees into the wind. Landing inside appeared to be more risky to the PIC, due to number of obstructions including boats and buoys, and the landing outside the lagoon was believed to be safer. No circle overhead was carried out due to not realizing the rough conditons.

The aircraft, while landing touched down and bounced, which appeared to be manageable, according to both the flight crew. As soon as the aircraft bounced the FO was advised by the PIC to add power for a go-around. At the same time FO heard the fire alarm. As power was added after the bounce, the aircraft banked to the left with the left wing tip dipping into the water and veering the aircraft to the left.

Once the aircraft bounced, the PIC attempted to intiate a go-around by adding power but the speed bled off and there was a simulataneous left wing drop. The FO tried to level off the aircraft but reported controls extremely heavy.

Immediately after the dip, the PIC attempted to shut down the right engine as the fire bell was continuously ringing, but could not move the fuel levers as it was jammed, and as a precautionary measure subsequently activated the fire extinguisher bottles, and then switched off the fuel shutoff valves and also shut-off the right engine boost pump. The PIC instructed the FO to visually check for a fire in right engine, to which the FO confirmed there was no visible fire, but smoke emanating due to engine exhaust.

The FO recalled continuously checking outside checking for the float damages as usually float damages are associated with heavy landings.

The FO after seeking approval from the PIC, started to follow the evacuation procedure and with the assistance of the cabin crew instructed and assisted the passengers to remove the seat belts. Next passengers were instructed to remove the life jackets from under the seat and all passengers were made to wear the life jackets but was instructed not to inflate the life jackets. The passengers were told to wait for the boat.

FO reported calling the TMA dispatch three or four times and reported an accident and requested for help. A jetski (water scooter) and a speedboat arrived but the jetski declined to tow the aircraft as jetski would not have the capacity to tow the aircraft.

Using the operable left engine and controlling the aircraft using the left engine power lever the PIC attempted to maintain the aircraft. After about 15 minutes the resort dinghy arrived and helped the aircraft to be secured to the buoy.

Once the aircraft was secured the left engine was shut down, the passengers disembarked and baggage was offloaded, after which the crew went to the resort.

A weather station about 34km from Kuredhu Island reported winds from 080 degrees at 13 knots (average), 070 degrees at 23 knots maximum.

The AICC reported damage and tests with respect to the right hand engine:

- Right Hand engine found fully detached from the mount/nacelle, hanging only by the fuel hoses and fuel control rods connected to it

- One of the vibration isolators (inboard) found sheared off

- Nacelle structure to which the vibration isolators (outboard and top) were ripped off


Since it is not common for vibration isolators to sheer in the way it did, Engine vibration isolator assemblies installed on the right-hand engine, at the time of the accident require metallurgy tests to determine the cause of the failure.

These isolators undergo periodic eddy current inspections as called for in Airworthiness Directive No. CAD/2005/01R1 dated 08 April 2007, issued by CAA Maldives. The AD states that past service experience has indicated that Engine Vibration Isolator failures occur occasionally during landing at rough water conditions.

In July 2021 the Maldives Accident Investigation Coordinating Committee (MAICC) released their final report concluding the probable causes of the accident were:

Power was added on approach at around 100 to 150 ft. The aircraft bounced on touchdown which indicates probable skipping of the aircraft due to higher speed and with the prevailing sea conditions encountered a sudden big wave.

The MAICC analysed:

The aircraft departed MLE with 12,496 lbs MTWA which is slightly below the 12,500 lbs.

Maximum Take-off Mass authorized. The CG of the aircraft was within limits. The aircraft was flown by the FO (PF). The aircraft had taken off from MLE without incident around 1050 hours and obtained clearance to climb up to 6500 feet until Kuredhu. Approximately, fifteen minutes prior to reaching the destination, the pilots commenced descent into Kuredhu water aerodrome.

Weather conditions en-route were isolated small build ups and picking up wind. Conditions at Kuredhu water aerodrome was unknown. The PF had decided to join a right base to a North-East bound landing. It was at this point PIC realized that the conditions being rough and had considered in his mind about landing in the inside lagoon area of Kuredhu (See figure 3), but noticing the presence of boats and what looked like a small dredger in the area, the PIC decided against it. With respect to that, PIC also noticed that the landing line was a bit far out to the sea and hence made a correction to the left so as to land closer to the reef.

Around 100-150ft, the PIC as the PNF had noticed the speed was lower than usual and had advised the PF to check, which he immediately corrected. A few seconds later, the PF positioned the aircraft for touchdown. Just as the floats touched a wave, the aircraft bounced with a nose high attitude. PIC called for power and the PF acknowledged and attempted, to the best of his abilities to stabilize the aircraft, but lost control. PIC attempted for a goaround, but by then the aircraft left wing dropped dipping into the water.

PIC stated that immediately after left wing dug in the water, the right wing dropped with the nose of aircraft digging into the water, but came clear of the water. He then heard the right engine fire bell. The FO looked outside and confirmed that the right engine was detached and hanging but was unsure of any signs of fire.

The PIC attempted to shut down the right engine, but the fuel lever was stuck and applied rest of the shutdown procedure and pressed the right fire discharge button. PIC attempted to maintain directional control of the aircraft with the working operational left engine, until the dinghy arrived and assisted to tow the aircraft to the buoy. After the aircraft was secured on the buoy the PIC shut down the left engine and switched off the masters. The crew then assisted the passengers to disembark and offloaded the luggage. The crew remained on the aircraft to secure it.

As per the crew and eye witnesses and video filmed by a passenger, the aircraft bounced on landing, then the left wing dropped first and caused the aircraft to turn sharply to the left. With the forward momentum and the bank correction applied to the right, the right wing and engine were hit hard by a large swell while the propeller was still rotating at above idle speed. The centrifugal force of the propeller caused the blades to rupture through the engine nacelle, the whole engine was twisted, engine mounts fractured, nacelle longerons broken and detached from the wing.

Survey of the aircraft carried out by PIC, post-accident confirmed both wingtips, flaps and ailerons were damaged. Right engine was detached while hydraulic power pack access door was ripped open. No damage to floats was evident.

PIC was able to put the rudder lock but could not install those for the control column as it was stuck, fully turned to the right.

Examination of the RH propeller indicated that the blades were at a low pitch angle at the time of impact. It was revealed that right engine inboard mount was fractured while the outboard and top engine mounts were left intact but had torn out with the nacelle structure.


Damage to the right and left wing tips and the leading edges indicated that they both impacted water prior to aircraft coming to rest. Further inspection of the airframe components including the flap system and the control and trim systems did not reveal any pre-impact anomalies.
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Feb 24, 2020


Aircraft Registration

ICAO Type Designator

This article is published under license from © of text by
Article source

You can read 2 more free articles without a subscription.

Subscribe now and continue reading without any limits!

Are you a subscriber? Login

Read unlimited articles and receive our daily update briefing. Gain better insights into what is happening in commercial aviation safety.

Send tip

Support AeroInside by sending a small tip amount.

Related articles

Newest articles

Subscribe today

Are you researching aviation incidents? Get access to AeroInside Insights, unlimited read access and receive the daily newsletter.

Pick your plan and subscribe


Blockaviation logo

A new way to document and demonstrate airworthiness compliance and aircraft value. Find out more.


ELITE Simulation Solutions is a leading global provider of Flight Simulation Training Devices, IFR training software as well as flight controls and related services. Find out more.

Blue Altitude Logo

Your regulation partner, specialists in aviation safety and compliance; providing training, auditing, and consultancy services. Find out more.

AeroInside Blog
Popular aircraft
Airbus A320
Boeing 737-800
Boeing 737-800 MAX
Popular airlines
American Airlines
Air Canada
British Airways