South AN24 at Donetsk on Feb 13th 2013, loss of control on short final

Last Update: October 30, 2019 / 19:36:07 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Feb 13, 2013

Classification
Accident

Destination
Donetsk, Ukraine

Aircraft Registration
UR-WRA

Aircraft Type
Antonov An-24

ICAO Type Designator
AN24

A South Airlines Antonov AN-24, registration UR-WRA performing charter flight YG-8971 from Odessa to Donetsk (Ukraine) with 44 passengers and 5 crew, was on final approach to Donetsk's runway 08 at 18:09L (16:09Z), the crew had not reported any problems and not declared emergency or priority, when the aircraft rolled sharply to the right and impacted the ground off the runway twice, the right hand engine burst into flames, the aircraft spun right and came to a stop on soft ground to the right of runway and parallel taxiway, the occupants were evacuated through holes and cracks, emergency services quickly put out the fire. 47 people survived the accident, 5 people are confirmed dead, 9 people were taken to hospitals, 26 received medical attention.

On Feb 14th Ukraine's Emergency Ministry reported five fatalities, 9 people were taken to hospitals with injuries as result of the accident. 47 survivors of the 52 occupants of the aircraft have been confirmed. The ministry had originally reported the aircraft overran the end of the runway and overturned and on Feb 14th changed to state, that the aircraft lost control during final approach, fell left of the runway and split in two major parts.

Sources at Donetsk Airport reported the aircraft performed an emergency landing.

Air Traffic Control reported that the aircraft made a normal approach, the weather conditions did not prevent a safe and legal approach. After touchdown the crew did no longer respond on radio, the tower thus raised a crash alert. Responding emergency services found the aircraft off the runway with the right hand wing on fire.

The captain reported in an interview on Feb 14th 2013, that a patch of fog floated onto the runway obscuring the view, the runway disappeared from view. At that moment the aircraft impacted something, the captain has no further memory of the accident.

Ukraine's Transport Prosecution Office reported a fire broke out while the aircraft made an incorrect landing, the fire was contained by emergency services 20 minutes later.

Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister reported 26 people received medical attention, 9 were hospitalized.

Ground observers reported the aircraft was attempting to land in dense fog and touched down on soft ground between main runway and taxiway, other observers reported the aircraft touched down short of the runway on soft ground.

An observer on the flight deck, pilot trainee, reported the aircraft was on final approach to the runway in dense fog when the aircraft impacted ground twice, the right hand engine caught fire and the aircraft spun to the right.

Passengers reported the aircraft rolled sharply left, then impacted ground. They escaped through gaps in the fuselage.

Donetsk's Transport Prosecutor said, 30 investigators are currently involved in the investigation, a number of theories and possible scenarios of how the accident might have happened are being checked. Preliminary data suggest, the aircraft's left wing tip hit the weather station, an unmanned mast holding sensors to measure and record weather data, while on final approach, then rolled right and hit ground with the right wing first and broke up, the aircraft crossed the parallel taxiway before coming to a stop. 3 of the five fatalities have been identified so far.

The aircraft was taking soccer fans to Donetsk who wanted to attend the Champions League match between Schachtar Donetsk and Borussia Dortmund and was scheduled to land at 18:30L.

On Mar 27th 2013 Ukraine's Ministry of Transport reported in their monthly bulletin, that the aircraft was scheduled to depart with 7 crew, an instructor for the pilots and an instructor for the flight engineer were to supplement the crew, however, neither instructor showed up for the flight. The captain (ATPL, 3,245 hours total) decided to depart without them and was assisted by the first officer (CPL, 175 hours total), a flight engineer (561 hours total) and a navigator (6,645 hours total). Due to present weather conditions at the aerodrome, the captain was not permitted to descend below 300 meters of height/1000 feet without establishing visual contact with the approach lights. At 300 meters/1000 feet the crew did not establish visual contact with the approach lights or runway, the commander therefore reduced the rate of descent however did not communicate a decision to go-around or continue the approach to his crew. The aircraft slowed to below 190 kph (103 knots), minimum control speed, rolled to 48 degrees of bank and impacted ground right wing first.

According to ATDB the airline currently operates two Antonov 24RVs: UR-WRA and UR-47256. UR-WRA joined South Airlines' fleet in October 2012 after leaving Wind Rose Aviation's fleet.

Donetsk features a runway 08/26 of 4000 meters/13,120 feet length and 60 meters/200 feet width. Both runways feature ILS approaches, runway 08 features up to CATIIIa capability, runway 26 CATI capability only.

On Oct 29th 2019 Ukraine's NBAAI released their final report in Ukrainian only (Editorial note: to serve the purpose of global prevention of the repeat of causes leading to an occurrence an additional timely release of all occurrence reports in the only world spanning aviation language English would be necessary, a Ukrainian only release does not achieve this purpose as set by ICAO annex 13 and just forces many aviators to waste much more time and effort each in trying to understand the circumstances leading to the occurrence. Aviators operating internationally are required to read/speak English besides their local language, investigators need to be able to read/write/speak English to communicate with their counterparts all around the globe).

The report concludes the probable causes of the accident were:

The accident of AN-24 UR-WRA, flying the route from Odessa to Donetsk, occurred due to the loss of airspeed during the approach to land in meteorologic conditions, the captain was not prepared for and had not been certified for.

The loss of speed to values that cause the loss of stability and loss of control was caused by:

- lack of increase of engine power when reducing the descent rate
- aircraft 279kg above maximum landing weight and non-use of auxiliary power unit
- signficant deflection of the steering wheel, which increased the angle of attack to become critical and reduced the lift at the left wing

The NBAAI reported the aircraft departed with 5 crew and 47 passengers and 1579kg above maximum takeoff weight on departure from Odessa. The flight was uneventful until descending through FL110 towards Donetsk when the crew received current weather at Donetsk indicating RVR for runway 08 at 900 meters, vertical visibility 60 meters. The captain was certified for minima of 1000 meters RVR and 80 meters vertical visibity.

The captain did not hold an approach briefing and did not compute the landing mass. The crew however discussed the possibility to approach runway 26 due to better RVRs 1400, 1300 and 750 meters, it would be better to touch down at the side with 1400 meters rather than 900 meters RVR. The use of the auxiliary power unit RU-19 is mandatory with the landing mass above 21,700 kg, the actual landing was 21,979 kg hence the use of RU-19 was mandatory. The crew however did not activate the RU-19.

The approach and final approach was normal until about 1000 meters before the runway threshold, when the captain could not see the runway approach lights and began to reduce the descent without telling the collegues in the cockpit. Neither first officer nor flight engineer reacted in time to increase the engine power to prevent loss of airspeed. With the excess landing mass and the anti-ice systems of the engines operating and a significant deflection of the steering wheel caused a significant loss of lift on the left wing, which further accelerated the loss of airspeed from 200 kph to 140 kph (Vs=154 kph), at 57 meters above ground takeoff power was set, the captain continued inputs to prevent the aircraft from descending which caused further loss of speed, the aircraft rolled left to 12 degrees bank angle, then rolled right to 52 degrees bank, rolled left again to 18 degrees and finally rolled right to 48 degrees, the wing tip struck the ground, parts of the wing separated, a fire erupted from the right hand wing fed by the fuel that spilled from the right hand wing.

Five passengers received fatal injuries, 5 crew and 3 passengers received serious injuries.

Metars:
UKCC 131800Z 06002MPS 0200 R08/0800U FG VV002 01/01 Q1026 08290055 BECMG 0200 FG VV001
UKCC 131730Z 00000MPS 0800 R08/0750V1800D PRFG VV001 01/01 Q1026 08290055 BECMG 0200 FG VV001
UKCC 131700Z 00000MPS 0250 R08/0750N PRFG VV002 01/01 Q1026 08290055 BECMG 0200 FG VV001
UKCC 131630Z 00000MPS 0500 R08/1300VP2000D PRFG VV002 01/01 Q1026 08290055 BECMG 0200 FG VV001
UKCC 131600Z 07002MPS 030V090 0250 R08/0750N FG VV001 01/01 Q1026 08290055 BECMG 0200 FG VV001
UKCC 131530Z 07003MPS 030V090 0300 R08/0900N FG VV002 01/01 Q1026 08290055 BECMG 0200 FG VV001
UKCC 131500Z 04003MPS 0200 R08/0800N FG VV001 01/01 Q1026 08290055 BECMG 0200 FG VV001
UKCC 131430Z 03003MPS 0250 R08/0900N FG VV001 01/01 Q1026 08290055 BECMG 0200 FG VV001
UKCC 131400Z 04003MPS 1000 R08/P2000U BR OVC001 02/01 Q1025 08290055 TEMPO 0200 FG
UKCC 131330Z 03002MPS 3100 BR OVC002 02/01 Q1025 08290055 BECMG 1100 BR
UKCC 131300Z 35002MPS 320V050 2800 BR OVC003 02/01 Q1025 08290055 BECMG 1100 BR
UKCC 131230Z VRB01MPS 5000 BR OVC004 02/01 Q1025 08290055 TEMPO 1100 BR
UKCC 131200Z 00000MPS 4500 BR OVC004 02/01 Q1025 08290055 TEMPO 1100 BR
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Feb 13, 2013

Classification
Accident

Destination
Donetsk, Ukraine

Aircraft Registration
UR-WRA

Aircraft Type
Antonov An-24

ICAO Type Designator
AN24

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