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Publish Investigation Report, China Airlines Flight CI 680 Veered Off Runway During Landing at Taoyuan Airport


Publication Date 2013-06-21
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The Aviation Safety Council (ASC) released the investigation report of China Airlines Flight 680, an Airbus A330-300 aircraft, encountered momentary heavy showers and flight visibility dropped down suddenly before landing. During flare, the flight crew was not aware of the control stick was pressed 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.

On August 12, 2012, an Airbus A330-300 aircraft, registration number B-18352, operated by China Airlines, performing a scheduled passenger flight CI 680, took off from Hong Kong International Airport for Taoyuan International Airport with 2 flight crew members, 11 cabin crew members and 293 passengers, total 306 people on board.

Before departuring from Hong Kong International Airport, the flight crew obtained weather information of Taoyuan Airport’s visibility was 3,200 meters from 12:00 to 18:00.The flight crew received Automatic Terminal Information Service (ATIS) V of unstable wind on ground, and flight crew planned to vacate runway via taxiway S3 and used configuration 3 for approach. According to the interviews, the flight crew stated that the runway was in sight at 15 nautical miles away, visual range was about half of the runway. At 1520:39, Taipei control tower broadcasted ‘heavy showers and visibility 8,000 meters’.

The aircraft remained at the runway 23L extended centerline during final approach in general with the flight track in-clined a little rightward. The aircraft landed at the right side of the runway centerline, the touchdown point was 1,470 ft from the runway 23L threshold. Prior to the time that nose landing gear touchdown the flight crew used the left rudder to correct the rightward track and keep the course parallel to the runway but without success. At 1524:05, the aircraft veered off the runway 23L at 2,220 ft from threshold. During the aircraft veering off the runway, two runway edge lights were damaged and the aircraft right main gear rolled over a cement manhole structure. The flight crew used nose gear steering and rudder to maneuver the aircraft back to the runway at 4,220 ft from the runway 23L threshold. The aircraft decelerated and vacated the runway via Taxiway S3 and the flight crew requested a towing service to tow aircraft back to the ramp. Maintenance personnel inspected the aircraft's lower right belly skin and found several minor scratches. All people on board were safe.

The ASC launched investigation according to the Aviation Occurrence Investigation Act after the occurrence. Parties to the investigation are the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA), China Airlines and Taoyuan International Airport Company. Investigation report was published after approval by the ASC council members on May 28, 2013, at the 11th Council Meeting.Findings related to 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 the control stick was pressed 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 on 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'.

Safety Recommendation to China Airlines: Reinforce flight crew's training which include: situation awareness and response capability when encountered momentary heavy showers and sudden drop of visibility during final approach; flight crew’s maneuver skill of correcting runway veer off, and enhanced flight crew’s decision making of rejected landing when flight crew unable to correct the aircraft directional control accordingly. Examine the definition of rejected landing in the existing manuals and review the standard call out when aircraft deviating from runway centerline. Perform one-time inspection of area microphone recording function in the cockpit of this aircraft type and notice to all maintenance personnel that miss-hearing may occurred during CVR (Cockpit Voice Recorder) system test to ensure cockpit voice recording quality, and review annual CVR system test interval. Safety Recommendation to CAA: Supervise China Airlines to reinforce flight crew's training which include: situation awareness and response capability when encountered momentary heavy showers and sudden drop of visibility during final approach; flight crew’s maneuver skill of correcting runway veer off, and enhanced flight crew’s decision making of rejected landing when flight crew unable to correct the aircraft directional control accordingly. Safety Recommendation to Taoyuan Airport Company and Ministry of Transportation and Communications: Examine the manhole structures at Taoyuan Airport runway area to complied with the ICAO Annex 14 Aerodrome Design and Operations Attachment A Recommendations, and the Ministry of Transportation and Communications should supervise Taoyuan Airport company to implement reviewing the manhole structures at Taoyuan Airport runway area to complied with the ICAO Annex 14 Aerodrome Design and Operations Attachment A Recommendations.

Further information including the factual data, analysis and safety action taken or being planned; please refer to the Final Report. The Final Report in Chinese and courtesy translation Executive Summary in English of this investigation are available for download at http://www.asc.gov.tw

Sherry Liu, Engineer
Tel: 89127388-330  Email:sherry@asc.gov.tw 

Last updated 2019-08-08
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