Blue Bird DH8D at Nairobi on Jan 8th 2013, rejected takeoff results in runway overrun

Last Update: April 29, 2015 / 20:37:49 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Jan 8, 2013


Aircraft Registration

ICAO Type Designator

A Blue Bird Aviation de Havilland Dash 8-400, registration 5Y-VVY performing a flight from Nairobi Wilson (Kenya) to Mogadishu (Somalia) with 3 crew, rejected takeoff from Wilson Airport's runway 14 at high speed at about 07:05L (04:05Z), came to a stop off the runway heading and past the runway end on soft ground and was disabled.

The runway was closed for about 3 hours until the aircraft could be moved off the runway.

A ground observer reported the aircraft may have partially gone off the runway, but was too far away to be sure about the observation.

Bluebird Aviation usually performs freight flights from Wilson Airport destined for Somalia.

In April 2015 Kenya's Air Accident Investigation Department (AAID) released their final report into the serious incident concluding the probable causes was:

The probable cause of the incident was failure of flight crew to execute maximum continuous braking during a rejected takeoff before V1. The key contributory factor was concentration of the flight crew on steering the aircraft back to the runway centerline after it veered to the right.

The AAID reported the first officer (CPL, 2,404 hours total, 958 hours on type) was assigned pilot flying for the sector, the captain (37, ATPL, 10,701 hours total, 4,063 hours on type) was pilot monitoring. Following preflight checks, completion of mass and balance computations with 8 tons of cargo, the aircraft taxied to runway 14.

The aircraft was configured for a takeoff with flaps at 15 degrees.

Tower changed the departure clearance of the aircraft assigning an immediate left turn to 050 degrees after takeoff. The captain thought the maneouver was too challenging and decided to fly the departure himself. The captain explained the modified clearance that with the initial clearance they would have needed to wait until all aircraft lined up for landing on Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport runway 06 had landed.

After receiving takeoff clearance the captain initiated takeoff, the first officer called 80 knots, the captain cross checked and saw engines still accelerating but all parameters normal. A few seconds later he noticed the InterTurbine Temperature (ITT) of the left hand engine had gone into the red area and was reading between 840 and 880 degrees C, the captain decided to reject takeoff, the speed was 105 KIAS at that point, about 500 meters of runway were remaining. The captain retarded power levers and initiated braking, the aircraft veered off the runway center line to the right side of the runway prompting the captain to release the brakes while steering the aircraft back onto the runway center line. When the aircraft was back on the center line and steady the captain again applied braking however was unable to stop the aircraft before the runway end. The aircraft came to a stop 67 meters past the runway end.

The AAID continued that the crew radioed tower that they had overshot the runway, tower cleared the aircraft to make a 180 turn back onto the runway. The aircraft however was unable to move and needed to be towed.

The AAID analysed: "The Captain rejected takeoff as per Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) when he noticed an abnormal engine indication of high ITT before the V1 speed. After retarding power on both engines, the aircraft veered to the right hand side of the runway centerline. It was considered that this was possibly as a result of one engine reacting faster than the other or the brakes on the right MLG were more effective than those on the left MLG. The Captain released the brakes to concentrate on steering the aircraft to the runway centerline. He resumed braking again once the aircraft was steady and close to the centerline. Therefore, there was no continuous maximum braking action from the flight crew after the decision to reject the takeoff was made. The decision to reject the takeoff was made when the aircraft had attained a speed to approximately 105 knots and after crossing the intersection of runways 14 and 07. The remaining runway length available to stop the aircraft was approximately 500 meters. Apart from the braking action which was not continuous, no other speed reducing devices were employed by the crew to stop the aircraft. The flight crew concentration during the rejected takeoff temporarily shifted to steering the aircraft which had veered to the right back to the centerline. In addition, the aircraft was loaded with 8 tonnes of cargo and therefore had substantial momentum at 105 knots. All these factors contributed to the crew not being able to stop the aircraft within the runway length."

Metars for Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta Airport about 7nm east of Wilson Airport:
HKJK 080500Z 06005KT 9999 BKN020 19/17 Q1023 NOSIG
HKJK 080430Z 04004KT 9999 SCT006 BKN019 18/17 Q1023 NOSIG
HKJK 080400Z 07006KT 9999 FEW007 BKN018TCU 17/17 Q1022 NOSIG
HKJK 080330Z 05004KT 9999 FEW012 BKN018 17/16 Q1022 NOSIG
HKJK 080300Z 05004KT 9999 FEW012 BKN018 17/16 Q1022 NOSIG
HKJK 080230Z 03004KT 9999 FEW007 BKN018 17/16 Q1022 NOSIG
HKJK 080200Z 36003KT 9999 FEW005 BKN019 18/17 Q1021 NOSIG
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Jan 8, 2013


Aircraft Registration

ICAO Type Designator

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