Aer Arann plane written off after rough landing at Shannon

Investigation concludes that plane came in too fast in blustery conditions

An Aer Arann plane had to be written off after it landed in blustery conditions at Shannon Airport.  Photograph by Frank Miller

An Aer Arann plane had to be written off after it landed in blustery conditions at Shannon Airport. Photograph by Frank Miller

 

An Aer Arann plane had to be written off after it landed in blustery conditions at Shannon Airport.

The ATR 72-212 (Avions de Transport Regional) with 21 passengers and four crew on board bounced on its first approach to Shannon Airport and then came down heavily on its nose, an investigation carried out by the Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) found.

The aircraft sustained damage after directional control was lost. The nose undercarriage leg, which normally retracts forward, became embedded in the fuselage, damaging the nose of the aircraft.

None of the passengers was injured but the aircraft was deemed to be beyond economical repair.

A statement from Aer Arann said the company “acknowledge and accept the report, and have implemented its recommendations”.

The accident happened on Sunday, July 17th, 2011 as the early-morning flight from Manchester came in to land at Shannon Airport. The pilot reported that the “gusts were nasty”. The aircraft made a first attempt to land, but a gust caught the right wing.

The aircraft went around a second time. The 29-year-old pilot became concerned that they were running out of runway and she decided to land the aircraft. The aircraft landed heavily and a loud scraping noise was reported. The rudder jammed on landing and there was no directional control of the aircraft. The engine was stopped by pulling the fire handles, according to the investigation report.

The investigation concluded that the aircraft maintained an approach speed and inadequate control of the aircraft’s pitch during a crosswind in very blustery conditions.

A contributory factor was the confusing wording in the flight crew operating manual (FCOM) which led to the crew computing an excessive wind factor in the determination of VAPP (the indicated air speed on approach for landing).

It concluded that Aer Arann should review the training provided for its pilots regarding crosswind landings and standard speed call outs during approach.

It was also found that a Shannon Aerospace hanger contributed to the turbulence and wind-shear factor at the airport.

As a result, Shannon was reclassified as an airport for landing purposes.