Blue Islands AT42 at Jersey on Jun 16th 2012, gear collapse
Last Update: October 10, 2013 / 16:13:41 GMT/Zulu time
Weather conditions in Jersey were good with winds from 210 at 16 knots, few clouds at 2000 feet and visibility in excess of 10km. The commander decided to perform a visual approach to Jersey's runway 27 using flaps 30 degrees and a Vapp of 107 knots. The gear was extended and showed three greens.
With a crosswind component from the left the left main gear touched down first, just after touchdown both pilots heard some noise and the aircraft began to settle in an unusual attitude, the commander believed they had burst a tyre. The commander selected ground idle power and partial reverse pitch, the first officer took control of the ailerons to permit the commander operate the steering tiller. Despite corrective input the aircraft continued to roll left. A ground staff reported the left main gear appeared to not be properly down, the aircraft's left wing and left prop tips contacted the runway. The aircraft came to a stop on the runway left of the center line, both engines were shut down and the fire handles pulled.
Tower pressed the crash button, emergency services responded quickly.
In the meantime passengers, concerned about a burning smell, started to move to exit the aircraft, the flight attendant realized it would be difficult to contact the flight deck while trying to control the passengers and decided to initiate an evacuation.
The captain, after both engines had been shut down, assessed the situation following the obvious failure the exact nature was not known to the crew and decided to order an evacuation. When he wanted to make the announcement he already saw the passenger leaving the aircraft and did not make the announcement.
The AAIB reported that the flight data recorders showed a smooth landing however a high vertical acceleration of about 3.0G at touchdown inconsistent with the sink rate at touchdown. The AAIB analysed that the 3.0G acceleration "is believed to have been the effect of the close physical proximity of the accelerometer to the location of the fractured side brace. It is reasonable to assume that the release of strain energy during the fracturing process produced an instant shock load recorded as a 3g spike."
The AAIB analysed that a fatigue crack propagated through the cross section of the side of an attachment lug of the left main landing gear side brace upper arm, that developed into a ductile cracking in the final region until failure occurred. The aluminium of the lug was found to be within specifications, the crack however started from an inter-granular feature with high Titanium content, probably a TiB2 particule introduced during grain refining.
This article is published under license from Avherald.com. © of text by Avherald.com.
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