Suckling D328 at Norwich on Mar 22nd 2012, runway excursion

Last Update: December 13, 2012 / 16:25:03 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Mar 22, 2012

Aircraft Registration

Aircraft Type

ICAO Type Designator

The British AAIB have released their final report concluding the probable cause of the serious incident was:

In this incident, the commander, who was the PF, was not visual with the runway at MDA and, in accordance with the company operating manual, should have initiated a go-around. Instead he levelled the aircraft in the hope of gaining visual references with the runway. When he did gain this visual reference the aircraft was not in a position to land without applying significant angles of bank at low level. This resulted in the aircraft touching down and tracking off the runway, with the right landing gear leaving the paved surface.

The AAIB reported the captain (59, ATPL, 20,175 hours total, 2,800 hours on type) was pilot flying and the first officer, who had gained his captaincy a few months earlier, was pilot monitoring when the aircraft was on a NDB/DME approach to Norwich's runway 09. Visbility had been reported as 4000 meters (2.1nm) in haze with winds from 110 degrees at 7 knots. The aircraft levelled off at minimum descent altitude of 580 feet MSL when the crew did not gain visual contact with the runway at that altitude, a few moments later (according to captain's testimony) the commander established visual contact with the runway at a point, where the aircraft about 1nm ahead of the runway threshold and about 0.5nm south of the extended runway center line. The captain believed he could still align the aircraft with the runway center line, turned left and turned back onto runway heading overflying the threshold with still right hand bank applied. The aircraft, tracking towards the right hand edge of the runway, touched down firmly. At, or possibly just prior to, that touchdown the first officer called "Go-Around", the commander executed the go around, the aircraft subsequently positioned for an ILS approach to runway 27 and landed without further event.

After landing the crew noticed one runway light near the runway 09 threshold had been broken and assumed it had been them damaging the light during their first approach and reported this to ATC. After reaching the apron the crew informed the company and filed a MOR. The AAIB was notified only the following day, as a result the cockpit voice recorder was overwritten.

An engineering inspection found no damage to the aircraft.

Tyre tracks of the right hand main gear were found on soft ground just off the right hand edge of the paved surface of the runway, the lense of a runway edge light had been broken.

In post flight testimony the captain stated it was poor judgement on his part to continue the unstable approach after becoming visual.

The first officer stated it was his first flight on the right hand seat after having gained captaincy 7 months earlier. He was slightly concerned during the manouvre but had confidence to the commander's abilities and thus did not interject. He had expected the commander would be able to line up and land safely until after the aircraft had crossed the runway threshold, then he called "go around".

The aircraft was equipped with an EGPWS, which recorded an aural alert "Bank Angle" when the aircraft was descending between 84 and 53 feet AGL, the right bank angle reduced from 28 to 25.3 degrees at that time after having reached a peak of 29.5 degrees.

The AAIB analysed that a straight in visual approach should be wings level at 500 feet AGL (and a circling approach at 300 feet AGL), however, the approach was unstable. At 100 feet AGL the aircraft had rolled 30 degrees right. A go-around should have thus been initiated earlier, the first officer should have called go-around at the latest at 100 feet AGL.
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Mar 22, 2012

Aircraft Registration

Aircraft Type

ICAO Type Designator

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