The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) of the United Kingdom has issued its report on the hard landing of Flybe‘s (Exeter) Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) G-JECJ (man 4110) on February 12, 2014 at Belfast City Airport, Northern Ireland with 47 passengers and four crew members:
During the landing flare, in gusty conditions, the commander’s prosthetic arm became detached, control was lost, and a heavy landing resulted.
History of the flight
The aircraft was on a scheduled commercial air transport flight from Birmingham to Belfast City, with the commander, in the left flight deck seat, as pilot flying. It was night, and although there was no low cloud affecting the airport, the wind at Belfast was a strong west-south-westerly, gusting up to 48 kt. Before the approach, the commander checked that his prosthetic lower left arm was securely attached to the yoke clamp which he used to fly the aircraft, with the latching device in place.
Although gusts over the crosswind limit for the aircraft were reported, the final wind report from ATC was within the limit, and the approach continued. The commander disconnected the autopilot and flew the aircraft manually. As he made the flare manoeuvre, with somewhat more than flight idle torque still applied, his prosthetic limb became detached from the yoke clamp, depriving him of control of the aircraft. He made a rapid assessment of the situation and considered alerting the co-pilot and instructing him to take control. However, because the co-pilot would have had little time to assimilate the information necessary to take over in the challenging conditions, the commander concluded that his best course of action was to move his right hand from the power levers onto the yoke to regain control. He did this, but with power still applied, and possibly a gust affecting the aircraft, a normal touchdown was followed by a bounce, from which the aircraft landed heavily.
The commander commented that he would in future be more cautious about checking the attachment on his prosthesis, as his check may have dislodged the latching mechanism; that he would brief his co-pilots about the possibility of a similar event; and that they should be ready to take control at any time.
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) G-JECJ (msn 4110) lands at Southampton.
Flybe (Exeter) will restore the Inverness-Dublin route on October 26 with Bombardier DHC-8-402s (Q400s). The airline issued this statement:
Flybe has confirmed its commitment to the Highlands and Islands this winter with the announcement of a brand new daily service from Inverness to Dublin. The new route starts on October 26. The airline has also confirmed extra flights on its popular Birmingham and Belfast City routes (increasing to six times a week), and to Manchester (to three flights a day). This news follows its announcement last month of a new twice daily service to London City which also starts on the same day.
In other news, Flybe has also has also confirmed its commitment to growth this winter announcing a brand new daily service between Southampton and Hamburg. The route starts on October 26, 2014.
In addition, the airline has also confirmed its popular sun routes from Southampton to Alicante, Malaga and Faro have been extended to operate through early November to accommodate half-term travel. The services to the two Spanish destinations will continue on as part of Flybe’s extensive 2014-15 winter schedule out of the south coast airport. All these flights will be operated by Flybe’s 118-seat Embraer 195 jet aircraft.
Increased flights to Dublin will operate during winter up to four times a day, and routes to regional France will also receive a winter boost with the addition of a twice weekly service to La Rochelle complementing Flybe’s existing winter routes to Bergerac, Nantes, Rennes and Limoges. Those looking to visit some of Europe’s best ski slopes will be pleased to hear of the return of Flybe’s flights to Grenoble, Geneva and Chambery.
Flybe’s 2014-15 Winter Schedule from Southampton features a total of 23 routes with a choice of up to 558 flights a week.
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) G-JECJ (msn 4110) lands at Southampton in the old 2002 livery.