Nostrum CRJ9 at Leon on Apr 25th 2012, wing tip strike

Last Update: August 27, 2013 / 16:50:43 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Apr 25, 2012

Aircraft Registration

ICAO Type Designator

The Spanish CIAIAC released their final report in Spanish concluding the probable cause of the incident was:

It can be considered that the crew carried out a corrective control input at very low altitude which resulted in an excessive roll to the right at the time of touch down.

Contributing was the strong surface wind component which increased the ground effect as well as the inexperience by the aircraft commander.

The CIAIAC reported that due to a present weather system over the Spanish peninsula strong winds were present and turbulence was expected across Spain. Instead of tankering fuel as per flight plan the commander therefore decided to depart with the flight plan fuel plus 400 kg, the departure from Barcelona though bumpy proved no difficulty.

While descending towards Leon the approach was smooth, the aircraft was cleared for an ILS approach to runway 23. The approach remained smooth until descending through 800 feet AGL, the approach was continued on autopilot until minimums.

Shortly after disconnecting the autopilot at decision height the airspeed dropped sharply indicative of a wind shear forcing the crew to increase power, the aircraft also yawed clockwise (to the right). The aircraft touched down hard, the crew felt a hard landing on the main gear followed by the nose gear. The aircraft slowed safely.

The commander performed a walk around at the gate without seeing anything out of the ordinary, at that time it was raining with significant gusts of wind.

The crew thus prepared for the return flight, which went without apparent anomaly and concluded with a safe landing in Barcelona.

After landing in Barcelona the commander discovered abrasions on the underside of the right hand wing and informed maintenance, who established 4 traces of abrasions requiring one of the outer slats to be replaced due to loss of thickness, however no structural damage had occurred.

The captain (50, ATPL, 11,064 hours total, 5,221 hours on CRJs) held a type rating for CRJ-100 through CRJ-1000s. The captain was very experienced and had flown more than 12 years for Nostrum, however, most of the time was flown on other types of CRJs, she had only accumulated 14 hours on the CRJ-900.

The first officer (29, ATPL, 4,068 hours, 3,752 hours on type) also was rated for CRJ-100 through CRJ-1000s.

The flight data recorder showed that the rudder pedals were centered until after the airspeed dropped, then a left rudder input was recorded that turned into a large right rudder and aileron input shortly before touch down and resulted in a pronounced right bank angle at touch down.

The CIAIAC analysed that following landing the main concern of the crew was the possibility of damage to the tail section of the aircraft. The worsening weather conditions at Leon may then have impacted and cut short the walk around causing the captain to miss the easily accessable damage at the right hand wind about 1.93 meters above ground. The damage required minor repairs to return the aircraft to an airworthy status, however did not pose any risk to the integrity of the aircraft during the following return flight.
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Apr 25, 2012

Aircraft Registration

ICAO Type Designator

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