Spicejet DH8D at Hubli on Mar 8th 2015, runway excursion on landing

Last Update: July 6, 2017 / 14:51:06 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Mar 8, 2015

Classification
Accident

Airline
Spicejet

Flight number
SG-1085

Destination
Hubli, India

Aircraft Registration
VT-SUA

ICAO Type Designator
DH8D

A Spicejet de Havilland Dash 8-400, registration VT-SUA performing flight SG-1085 from Bangalore to Hubli (India) with 78 passengers and 4 crew, landed on Hubli's runway 26 in rain at about 19:15L (13:45Z) but veered off the runway and came to a stop off the runway on soft ground with the left main gear collapsed. The aircraft was evacuated. There were no injuries, the aircraft received substantial damage to left hand main gear, propeller and engine.

The airline confirmed the Dash 8-400, flight SG-1085, skidded off the runway while landing in Hubli in heavy rain. There were no injuries, India's DGCA was informed and has opened an investigation.

The provincial governor reported that the aircraft had arrived over the aerodrome at 18:40L and entered a hold due to rain/weather before commencing the approach at about 19:15L. The aircraft touched down hard causing the left main gear to collapse and veered off the runway.

No Metars are available, the local weather station reported at 17:30L: thunderstorms, rain, temperature 22 degrees C, dew point 19 degrees C, QNH 1010 hPa, 4km visibility, winds from east at 6 knots. At 20:30L the weather station reported: thunderstorms, rain, temperature 21 degrees C, dew point 19 degrees C, QNH 1015 hPa, visibility 4km, winds from southwest at 4 knots.

The airport features a runway 08/26 of 1674 meters/5490 feet length and one NDB. Runway 08 threshold is displaced by 105 meters leaving a landing distance available of 1569 meters, Runway 26 threshold is displaced by 54 meters leaving a landing distance available of 1620 meters. AIP India publishes a NDB circling approach as only instrument approach to the aerodrome.

On Jul 6th 2017 India's AAIB released their final report concluding the probable causes of the accident were:

Loss of visual cues after touch down in inclemental weather conditions resulted in veering of the aircraft towards left of the centerline leading to runway excursion and accident.

Following are the contributory factors.

- Inappropriate handling technique of the aircraft controls by the PIC to maintain the directional control of the aircraft after landing.

- Non-standards callouts by the first officer to correct situation after landing.

- Impact of the landing gear with the non-frangible erected runway edge light resulted in retraction of the same.

- At the time of the accident DGCA O.M. No. AV.15026/006/92- AS dated 3rd February 1992 was in force, which dictated examiners and instructors of the operators only to carry out trial procedures in VMC and during Daytime only.

M/s Spice jet instructions to the flight crew did not reflect the same and allowed flight crew with less experience & below VMC flight conditions to carry out trial procedures. This may have contributed to the accident.

The AAIB reported that the aircraft had been tankering fuel due to Hubli featuring no refueling facility. The aircraft was on approach to Hubli with the captain (46, ATPL, 7,050 hours total, 1,850 hours on type) being pilot flying and the first officer (24, CPL, 1,343 hours total, 1,083 hours on type) was pilot monitoring, when ATC advised of visibility of 3000 meters in heavy rain and thunderstorm at Hubli prompting the crew to enter a hold to wait for weather improvement. About 20 minutes later ATC advised that the visibility had improved to 4000 meters in moderate rain. The crew therefore requested descent for an approach to runway 26 and elected to carry out the VOR DME trial procedure for runway 26 rather than the NDB approach. The crew reported visual contact with the runway about 6nm before touchdown. Windscreen wipers were engaged on short final. The aircraft continued for a normal landing on runway 26.

After touchdown the aircraft began to drift left, full reverse thrust was selected on both engines. The aircraft ran over a left runway edge light, the left main gear collapsed as result, the left propeller blades touched the runway and sheared away, the nose wheel tyres failed and the nose gear collapsed under the load, the aircraft left the paved surface of the runway and came to a stop about 52 meters to the left of the runway center line.

The flight crew shut the aircraft down and initiated an evacuation through the right hand doors.

The aircraft sustained substantial damage.

The AAIB analysed that there was no technical factor on the aircraft contributing to the accident. The AAIB then analysed: "ATC cleared aircraft for an NDB approach however the flight crew elected to carry out trial VORDME procedure which was in violation to DGCA existing guidelines in terms of crew qualification & flight conditions (visibility and time of day requirements) From the foregoing, it is inferred that though the weather conditions were within the operating minima of the PIC for the NDB approach but the crew was carrying out a VORDME trial procedure suo moto which was in violation of ATC instructions and DGCA guidelines for carrying out trial procedures."

With respect to the runway edge light the AAIB analysed:

After the accident, the involved edge light assembly was examined and it was observed that the metal portion of the assembly which is not frangible, was not buried in the ground. Metal potion was temporarily chamfered with the cement and no concrete was used. This kind of arrangement of runway edge light was not as per DGCA requirements.

As the left main wheel hit the light, the frangible portion collapsed as per the design, however the metal potion which was not concealed with the cement impacted the gear. As the speed of the aircraft at the time of impact was around 80 knots the impact was strong and it caused the main left landing gear lock mechanism to unlock and the left landing gear retracted, and eventually resulted into the accident.

With respect to the aircraft handling the AAIB analysed:

DFDR analysis revealed that the aircraft landed at time 13:44:38 UTC. The aircraft landed slightly left of the centre line and both the power levers were staggered. The left power lever was at 26 degrees and the right was at 11 degrees and the right aileron input was 3.3 degrees. One second later the left lever had gone to reverse with only -2% for two seconds only however the right lever remained at disc.

Though the PIC had stated that he selected full reverse on both the engines does not matches with the DFDR analysis and is incorrect. Further the PIC has mentioned that he tried to maintain the aircraft on the centerline, however DFDR analysis revealed that there was no rudder input by the PIC to control the aircraft from veering towards the left. As per the DFDR only right aileron inputs was given to steer the aircraft to the right which was ineffective to control the aircraft at that speed. The aircraft veered off the runway and the left landing gear hit the runway edge light and caused the main landing gear to collapse.
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Mar 8, 2015

Classification
Accident

Airline
Spicejet

Flight number
SG-1085

Destination
Hubli, India

Aircraft Registration
VT-SUA

ICAO Type Designator
DH8D

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