China Airlines A333 at Taipei on Aug 12th 2012, runway excursion

Last Update: June 25, 2013 / 14:20:43 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Aug 12, 2012


Aircraft Registration

Aircraft Type
Airbus A330-300

ICAO Type Designator

The Taiwanese Aviation Safety Council (ASC) released their final report in Chinese and executive summary in English releasing following findings:

The findings related to the probable causes

- The aircraft encountered momentary heavy showers and flight visibility dropped down suddenly before landing. During flare, the flight crew was not aware of pressing the control stick rightwards intermittently; the aircraft landed on the right side of the runway centerline and continued veering off to the right. The flight crew used immediately the left rudder to correct but did not continue using the left rudder or consider to initiate rejected landing; which made the aircraft veered off the runway rightward.

Findings related to Risks

- There were no runway centerline lights at runway 23L at Taoyuan Airport. The effects of visual references for pilots might be affected under heavy showers.

- The manhole structures at the airport runway area did not comply with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Annex 14 Aerodrome Design and Operations Attachment A recommendation of 'measures should be taken to prevent an airplane’s wheel, when sinking into the ground, from striking a hard vertical face'.

Other Findings

- The certificates of flight crew were in accordance with civil aviation regulations; rest and activities within 72 hours before the occurrence were normal; no evidence to show that the flight crew was affected by any medication or alcohol during that flight.

2. The weight and balance of the aircraft was within the limit.
- During the 10 seconds between the time when the aircraft was at 55 ft of altitude and when the main landing gears touched down, the AWOS (Automated Weather Observing System) momentary observation record showed that visibility RVR decreased from 1,800 meters to 1,500 meters due to rain fall, left wind increased to about 5 nautical miles / hour, and one hour of accumulated precipitation increased from 2.6 mm to 3.2 mm.

- The aircraft encountered momentary heavy showers and flight visibility dropped down suddenly, which still met the minimum weather requirement for approach and landing before landing. There were no momentary changes to wind direction nor wind speed.

- China Airlines did not establish standard call our in A330 Flight Operation Manual concerning the situation when the aircraft deviated from the centerline

- The malfunction of the area microphone in the cockpit resulted in bad quality of the CVR recording. The pre-flight inspected only if CVR signal circuits were normal; which might not verify the quality of the CVR recording. China Airliner’s annual CVR system test may not to ensure quality of CVR recording.

- As Runway 23L at Taoyuan Airport is CAT I precision approach runway, it may do without runway centerline lights. However, the runway width is 60 meters and according to ICAO Annex 14, it recommends that installation of runway centerline lights on this type of runway may improve the visual references for pilots during landing phase.

The aircraft was on approach to Taipei's runway 23L within 15nm from touchdown when tower broadcast weather information indicating heavy showers at the aerodrome and visibility of 8000 meters. The crew continued the approach, disconnected the autopilot descending through 904 feet AGL and disengaged autothrust during the flare at 14 feet AGL. The aircraft was tracking the extended center line of the runway for all of the approach but started to drift slightly right during the flare. The aircraft touched down right of the runway center line about 1470 feet down the runway. The crew started to apply left rudder before the nose gear touched down but not decisive enough to maintain a track parallel to the runway center line, the aircraft went right off the runway 2220 feet down the runway, the right hand main gear damaged two runway edge lights and went over a cement man hole. The crew used nose gear steering to steer the aircraft back onto the runway 4220 feet down the runway. The aircraft slowed without further incident, vacated the runway via taxiway S3 and requested a tow to the apron.

The aircraft sustained minor damage with a number of scratches on the belly due to debris thrown up from the right hand main gear.

Six safety recommendations were released as result of the investigation.
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Aug 12, 2012


Aircraft Registration

Aircraft Type
Airbus A330-300

ICAO Type Designator

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