Emerald AT72 at Liverpool on Aug 14th 2023, hard touch down

Last Update: March 14, 2024 / 11:29:36 GMT/Zulu time

Bookmark this article
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Aug 14, 2023


Flight number

Aircraft Registration

Aircraft Type
ATR ATR-72-200

ICAO Type Designator

An Emerald Airlines Avions de Transport Regional ATR-72-212A on behalf of Aer Lingus, registration EI-HDK performing flight EI-3196 from Dublin (Ireland) to Liverpool,EN (UK), was on approach to Liverpool's runway 09, tower reported a shower south of the aerodrome, when the aircraft touched down hard at about 2.8G, went around and positioned for an approach to runway 27 after tower had indicated the weather was now clearing and landed without further incident.

The aircraft positioned back to Dublin on Aug 30th 2023 and returned to service on Aug 31st 2023 after both main landing gear struts were replaced.

On Mar 14th 2024 the AAIB released their final bulletin concluding the probable cause of the accident were:

It is likely the aircraft encountered an increase in tailwind in heavy rain as it crossed the runway threshold, which resulted in a hard landing. The commander executed a go-around and made a second landing attempt which was uneventful.

Inspection of the aircraft identified no physical defects but following a review of the vertical acceleration experienced during the landing, the main landing gear assemblies were replaced. The aircraft returned to service on 30 August 2023.

The AAIB summarized the sequence of events:

When speaking to Liverpool Approach the commander obtained a wind report, indicating from 150° at 7 kt, so the crew agreed the co-pilot would fly the landing. The crew noticed some red radar returns on the weather radar close to the airport, which they thought were rain. The tower controller reported that there was a shower to the south. The aircraft was stable on the approach by 1,000 ft aal and when cleared for landing, the surface wind was reported as from 220° at 5 kt. The commander commented that it was now a tailwind and advised the co-pilot to “keep an eye on the power if the wind changes.” As the aircraft continued the approach it encountered some rain but the crew maintained sight of the runway and approach lights. On short final the rain became increasingly heavy and the commander switched the windscreen wipers to fast for both screens. He asked the co-pilot “do you want me to take it?” but the co-pilot confirmed he was content to continue.

The commander recalled they were still visual with the runway as the aircraft passed over the runway threshold but, passing 50 ft, the rain intensity increased and the visibility rapidly deteriorated. The co-pilot recalled the flight deck “going dark, like someone had pulled the curtains”. The commander recalled the aircraft seemed to suddenly and firmly touchdown as the visibility reduced to near zero. He immediately took control and executed a missed approach.

When the aircraft had climbed away the tower controller reported that the rain was now clearing and the surface wind was now from 220° at 7 kt, offering an approach to Runway 27. The crew accepted and started to position for a second approach, but the controller then advised that an inspection was required due to the amount of water on the runway, so they discontinued. The controller subsequently advised that the runway was wet with standing water on the shoulders and that taxiway E, F and G were flooded, so the aircraft would need to vacate on taxiway D or C. The aircraft was then vectored to the south to avoid the weather which was now tracking to the north. The commander made an approach to Runway 27 and an uneventful landing.

Once parked on stand the crew checked the aircraft g-meter, which had recorded a 2.8 g during the first landing.

After the incident the commander commented that the approach had been stable to 50 ft with very little fluctuation in speed. He considered that the aircraft encountered a downdraught in the heavy rain shower and commented that the near zero visibility would have required a go-around regardless of the hard landing.

The AAIB analysed:

As the aircraft crossed the runway threshold it entered heavy rain, and visibility reduced to near zero. The airspeed decayed at this point, with no corresponding increase in engine thrust. As the co-pilot increased pitch in the flare the vertical speed did not reduce before the main landing gear touched down on the runway. This resulted in a hard landing at a vertical speed of about –670 fpm. The commander took control and executed a missed approach.

The pilots recalled the visibility rapidly deteriorating as the aircraft crossed the threshold. It is likely the reduced visibility made it difficult to detect visually that the rate of descent was not reducing. A probability of heavy rain was included in the forecast but the view from the flight deck, the reports from the tower controller, and the indications on the flight deck did not give advance warning of the severity of the weather that the aircraft encountered. After the incident, the forecast was updated to include a probability of thunderstorms, hail and lower visibility.

The recorded windspeed and direction suggests that the tailwind component increased at the time of the hard landing. The gradual variation around point F in Figure 1 is typical of instantaneous wind direction changes, appearing as a “smooth curve” in the recording due to the wind calculation algorithm. The start of the change coincides with a reduction in airspeed after point A in Figure 1, suggesting that the airspeed reduction as EI-HDK crossed the runway threshold may have been due to an increased tailwind.

The FDR recorded the vertical acceleration reaching 2.8g when the hard landing occurred. There is no evidence that the maximum vertical acceleration significantly exceeded the recorded value, though the investigation did not rule out that the peak vertical acceleration may have been reached between the times its measurement was sampled by the recording system.
Aircraft Registration Data
Registration mark
Country of Registration
Date of Registration
Bnlkilikbcjj Subscribe to unlock
Aircraft Model / Type
ATR 72-212 A
ICAO Aircraft Type
Year of Manufacture
Serial Number
Maximum Take off Mass (MTOM) [kg]
Engine Count
Main Owner
EqifAbdAffdnbhmkphlfApjcgfkldgdjf Subscribe to unlock
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Aug 14, 2023


Flight number

Aircraft Registration

Aircraft Type
ATR ATR-72-200

ICAO Type Designator

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