Eastern E145 at Newcastle on Dec 5th 2015, wing tip strike on landing

Last Update: July 14, 2016 / 14:22:03 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Dec 5, 2015

Classification
Report

Flight number
T3-9466

Aircraft Registration
G-CGWV

Aircraft Type
Embraer ERJ-145

ICAO Type Designator
E145

An Eastern Airways Embraer ERJ-145, registration G-CGWV performing flight T3-9466 from London Stansted,EN (UK) to Newcastle,EN (UK) with 19 passengers and 4 crew, was on an ILS approach to Newcastle's runway 25 in strong gusty wind conditions when just before touchdown the aircraft rolled left unexpectedly, the captain (36, ATPL, 5,002 hours total, 1,234 hours on type), pilot flying, applied right aileron inputs but was unable to prevent the left wing tip to contact the runway surface. Tower observed sparks from the aircraft, the aircraft continued rollout without further incident.

The United Kingdom's Air Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) released their final bulletin without formal conclusion but following discussion:

The pilot’s impression was that there was a sudden, large gust of wind from the right while flaring to land. Recorded data suggested the aircraft’s roll to the left during the flare was more likely caused by a sudden slackening of the strong gusty wind, from slightly left of the runway centreline.

The maximum angle of bank recorded was 12.8º at 4 ft radio altitude; less than the angle calculated by the manufacturer for a wingtip strike with the left wheel touching the ground.

However, this calculation does not allow for aerodynamic loads and does not account for the runway sloping away from the centreline.

The AAIB was not informed of the accident until a month later. Meanwhile, the CVR had not been preserved but flight data was available from the operator’s FDM programme.

The AAIB reported abrasions were found at the left hand wing tip and aileron, according witness marks were found on the runway about one meter left of the runway center line.

The aircraft was configured for flaps at 22 degrees, the computed Vapp was 139 knots 15 knots above Vref. After descending through 50 feet AGL the computed air speed (CAS) increased from 137 to 148 knots with the speed over ground being 100 knots. Descending through 4 feet AGL the aircraft deviated to the right of the runway center line indicated by the localizer deviation, the left bank angle increased to at least 12.8 degrees at 5 degrees nose up pitch (due to sampling period of 1 sample per second the exact bank angle could not be determined), the CAS decreased to 126 knots and speed over ground to 97 knots, a full right wheel input together with 7 degrees right rudder input were recorded.

In the 5 minutes around the time of the accident average winds at Newcastle were measured between 30 knots from 230 degrees magnetic varying between 16 and 51 knots from 200 to 256 degrees magnetic. The Met office analysed the recorded data but found no evidence of a sudden gust more than 20 degrees right off the runway center line.

The AAIB wrote:

The aircraft manufacturer has calculated that an angle of bank of 16.4º is needed for the left wingtip of an Embraer 145 to make ground contact, when the left wheel is in ground contact, without the oleo compressed and the aircraft in a 5º nose-up attitude.

The manufacturer’s calculation does not account for wing flexing due to aerodynamic loads and assumes a level surface.

The aircraft touched down to the right of the centreline, on a runway which slopes away from the centreline for drainage purposes. The wingtip touched the runway 1 m left of the centreline in a position where the elevation was higher than that at which the left wheel made contact. Therefore, it was possible for ground contact to be made by the wingtip
with an angle of bank of less than 16.4º.

With respect to notification of occurrences and preservation of evidence the AAIB noted:

The commander immediately contacted the operator and was told the operator would inform the AAIB the following day. However, this action was subsequently overlooked and no action was taken to preserve CVR data. An occurrence report was submitted to the CAA on 7 December 2015 but this made no mention of damage to the aileron.

The UK Civil Aviation (Investigation of Air Accidents and Incidents) Regulations 1996 state that when an accident or serious incident occurs in the UK, or to a UK registered aircraft, the commander is responsible for informing the AAIB. However, the operator’s Operations Manual (OM) states that the operator’s management will notify the AAIB when an accident occurs in the UK.

The OM also states that if there is doubt about the classification of an occurrence it is to be treated as an accident and that ‘Accidents must be notified to the Company and the Authority via the quickest means.’
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Dec 5, 2015

Classification
Report

Flight number
T3-9466

Aircraft Registration
G-CGWV

Aircraft Type
Embraer ERJ-145

ICAO Type Designator
E145

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