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.
Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) is now focusing on possible condensation on the parked Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787-8 (ET-AOP) at London Heathrow Airport and a possible pinched wire in an emergency beacon (ELT) as the possible cause of the July 12 fire, according to people familiar with the investigation and this report by Reuters.
Meanwhile, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) stated it will require inspections of all Honeywell ELTs on all 787s. However the FAA stopped short of requiring the airlines to disconnect or remove the ELTs.
The safety of passengers and crew members who fly aboard Boeing airplanes is our highest priority.
As a party to the investigation, Boeing supports the two recommendations from the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB), which we think are reasonable precautionary measures to take as the investigation proceeds. We are working proactively to support the regulatory authorities in taking appropriate action in response to these recommendations, in coordination with our customers, suppliers, and other commercial airplane manufacturers.
We are confident the 787 is safe and we stand behind its overall integrity.
Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB), investing the on-board fire on Ethiopian Airlines’ parked Boeing 787-8 ET-AOP at London Heathrow Airport, has issued a Special Bulletin on the incident. CLICK HERE to read the full report.
According to Reuters, the AAIB reported the the “fire occurred in the upper portion of the rear fuselage where the 787’s emergency locator transmitter (ELT) device, made by U.S. firm Honeywell is located.
There are no other aircraft system in this area of the plane which, with the aircraft unpowered, contained stored energy capable of causing such a fire, the British agency said.
The AAIB also recommended that the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ensure the power is turned off in all Honeywell-made ELT systems in Boeing 787 Dreamliners. A source close to the probe said this could mean removing the ELT’s batteries.”
Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) has classified the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787-8 ET-AOP (msn 34744) fire at London Heathrow Airport on Friday (July 12) as a “serious incident”. The important statement in the message below is the statement at the end is the heat damage in upper rear fuselage “is remote from the area in which the aircraft main and APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) batteries are located, and, at this stage, there is no evidence of a direct causal relationship”.