Aero VIP D228 at Cascais on Apr 14th 2016, bird strike

Last Update: March 1, 2024 / 17:53:47 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Apr 14, 2016


Aircraft Registration

An Aero VIP Dornier DO-228, registration CS-DVU performing a scheduled flight from Vila Real to Viseu (Portugal) and further on to Cascais (Portugal) with 11 passengers and 2 crew, skipped the scheduled landing at Viseu due to weather conditions and proceeded directly to the next scheduled destination at Cascais performing a visual approach to Cascais' runway 17. The aircraft joined a left downwind for runway 17, turned final and was on short final about 100 feet above ground when a seagull impacted the left hand engine. The left hand engine immediately stopped, the crew selected the propeller into the feather position and continued for a safe landing on runway 17.

Portugal's GPIAA reported on Apr 28th 2016, that the engine's first compressor stage received substantial damage as result of the bird strike, the engine needed to be replaced. The GPIAA opened an investigation into the occurrence rated an incident.

On March 1st 2024 the GPIAA released their final factual report releasing following findings into the incident:

Flight Crew

The crew was licensed and qualified for the flight in accordance with existing regulations.

Engine failure procedures were performed in accordance with the aircraft manual.

The decision to proceed with the landing, after observing the flock of seagulls, would have been made based on crew best judgment, given the scenario and the risks of choosing to discontinue the landing with possible bird strike on initial climb phase.

The aircraft

The Dornier 228 is a twin-turboprop multi-mission utility aircraft, capable of transporting up to 19 passengers. Considering its supercritical1 wing design, the aircraft is commonly classified as a short take-off and landing (STOL), being capable of operating from short runways.

The records show that the aircraft was certified, equipped and maintained in accordance with existing regulations and approved procedures;

The Dornier 228-200 is equipped with two Garrett TPE 331-5 turboprop engines achieving a flat rate torque at take-off of 776 shp. Designed with a single spool, the engine has 2-stage centrifugal compressor, a reverse-flow combustor and a 3-stage axial turbine.

Engine damage assessment

The engine failure was fully contained and the accessory box was undamaged; the internal inspection performed by an authorised service centre, revealed damage to the first compressor stage and significant amounts of biological matter embedded in the combustion chamber area and hot section.

Cascais Municipal Aerodrome (AMC), is located in Tires, in the parish of São Domingos de Rana, Cascais municipality. Its 17/35 asphalt runway has 1700m x 30m with and an elevation of 99m.

AMC is located 7km (4,5NM) NE of the Cascais bay, serving as a harbour for seabirds, especially seagulls, when the weather is bad in the coastal zone.

According to the airport manager’s statement, the AMC has implemented, since 2014, a risk management system with the following active bird control measures:

- Birds dispersion using firefighting vehicle sirens;

- Periodic verification of the movement area and the adjacent area, in order to detect sources of attraction for birds.

In December 2016, after the incident, the airport management decided to reinforce the existing measures establishing a Falconer procedure implemented three times a week.

Additionally, the following measures were taken to minimize the presence of birds:

- Runway drainage ditch cover;

- Intervention with the City Council to control dovecotes and dumps;

- Permanent monitoring of the presence of birds with regard to their species and quantities;

- Cutting of vegetation in areas where birds are concentrated;

- Insecticide application in the movement area to reduce insect proliferation.

The average number of bird strikes confirmed2 at AMC from 2015 to 2020 was less than 3 per year.

The GPIAA summarized the sequence of events:

On a visual approach to runway 17, the crew, under ATC coordination, followed the standard circuit using left downwind.

Lined up on final to runway 17, the crew noticed a flock of seagulls siting on the runway surface and decided to continue with the approach.

With the aircraft already over the airfield, the seagulls took flight, having struck the left engine air intake after passing through the propeller blades, preventing the engine from running due to the abrupt seizure of its shaft.

The flight crew maintained aircraft control and landed safely and taxied by their own means to the pax terminal stand, where passengers disembarked
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Apr 14, 2016


Aircraft Registration

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