Commutair DH8B at Washington on Sep 24th 2016, landed without nose gear

Last Update: March 10, 2018 / 17:01:21 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Sep 24, 2016



Flight number

Aircraft Registration

ICAO Type Designator

A Commutair De Havilland Dash 8-200 on behalf of United, registration N366PH performing flight C5-4919/UA-4919 from Albany,NY to Washington Dulles,DC (USA) with 21 passengers and 3 crew, was on final approach to Dulles Airport's runway 01R when the crew initiated a go around reporting a gear problem. The aircraft climbed to 3000 feet and entered a hold for about 35 minutes, then performed a low approach to runway 01C to have the gear checked from the ground. Emergency Services reported the nose gear doors are open however the landing gear was not visible. The crew entered another hold for about 30 minutes trying to consult with company dispatch one more time. The aircraft was prepared for a nose gear up landing, emergency services entered their stand by positions. The aircraft positioned for a landing to runway 01R, touched down with both main gear on the runway, the crew held the nose up as long as practicable then lowered the nose onto the runway, tower observed sparks. The aircraft came to a stop on the runway on both main gear and the aircraft nose. The passengers deplaned rapidly and were taken to the terminal, two passengers were taken to a hospital.

The airline reported two passengers were taken to a hospital with arm injuries.

On Mar 10th 2018 the NTSB released their final report (no docket released) concluding the probable cause of the accident was:

incorrect installation of the frangible towing fuse that prevented the nose landing gear from extending.

The NTSB described the sequence of events:

According to the flight crew, the flight was uneventful until the final approach phase when they were configuring the airplane for landing at KIAD. After selecting the gear down, both main landing gear indicated down and locked but the nose gear indicated that the gear doors remained open and that the gear was unsafe. The flight crew then retracted the main landing gear and climbed to 3000 feet.

While at altitude, the flight crew attempted to lower the gear a second time but the same result was indicated. The flight crew then performed the manual gear extension, but the nose gear still failed to extend. The flight conducted a low pass of the airport and ground personnel confirmed that the main landing gear were down, but the nose gear was retracted with the doors open. The flight crew climbed back to 3,000 feet, declared an emergency and requested airport emergency vehicles standby.

During the landing roll, the nose of the airplane contacted the runway surface and the captain shut down the engines after the airplane came to a stop and called for an evacuation. None of the passengers or crew were injured.

Examination of the airplane found substantial damage to the airplane skin and forward pressure vessel as a result of the contact with the runway. Inspection of the nose gear system found that the frangible towing fuse, which was replaced before the flight, was incorrectly installed.

The NTSB wrote:

According to the operator, the airplane was scheduled for maintenance during an overnight period on the evening before the accident flight at the Albany Maintenance Hangar Facility at KALB. As part of the scheduled maintenance, a frangible towing fuse in the nose landing gear mechanism was removed and replaced. The aircraft was released from maintenance and signed off for revenue service on the morning of the accident flight.
Aircraft Registration Data
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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Sep 24, 2016



Flight number

Aircraft Registration

ICAO Type Designator

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