Publish the APEX DA-40NG flight occurrence final report
On May 5, 2016, an APEX Diamond DA-40NG aircraft, registration number B-88002, departed from Taitung Fung-Nian Airport to execute student pilot solo flight training. While the flight completed its training subjects back to the airport, the aircraft bounced during the landing roll process, the nose gear broke off from the fuselage, the propeller and engine cowling sustained damage. The aircraft stopped on the runway afterward, all personnel on board were safe.
According to the Republic of China Aviation Occurrence Investigation Act and referencing to the related content of Annex 13 to the Convention of International Civil Aviation Organization, the ASC is an independent agency responsible for the occurrence investigation. The organizations or agencies been invited to join the investigation team included: Civil Aeronautics Administration of Ministry of Transportation and Communications and APEX.
Findings related to probable causes: The student pilot did not establish the appropriate pitch attitude and deceleration, so that the aircraft touchdown with the negative pitch angle, causing the aircraft to bounce, and the student pilot did not go around immediately, and the aircraft was porpoising, resulting in the nose gear broken.
Findings related to the risks
- The occurrence student pilot's traffic pattern operation, including speed, attitude and descent rate were not stable, affecting the following stability of the normal operation and workload. On the final approach stage, the aircraft was above the glide path, the speed was higher than the approach speed and not stable. When the altitude reached 200 feet, the aircraft did not meet the standard of stable approach, and the student pilot did not perform go around.
- The APEX's mission briefing procedures and contents are incomplete; it may affect the response and handling ability of the trainee in the event of the situation change.
- The lack of confidence, easy to tense and insufficient multi-task handling abilities of occurrence student pilot were still not improve even through the additional training. It showed that the relevant training content did not completely improve his stabilities of flight control.
- The APEX Manual has a mechanism to monitor students' solo flights. However, the trainees may not be able to acquire immediate assistance if they encounter any abnormal conditions during the takeoff and landing phase.
There are a total of 9 safety recommendations issued to the related organizations.
Six recommendations to APEX:
- For student pilot who are required to receive additional training, should be consider to develop a personalized training program, as to effectively improve their related operational techniques.
- Establish appropriate mission briefing procedures and contents to improve the trainees' ability to cope with the situation change.
- To improve the current monitoring mechanism for solo students, so that the student pilot could obtain immediate and effective assistance during takeoff and landing in case of the abnormal conditions.
- Establish clear “stable approach” criteria, and emphasized its importance and necessity.
- Clearly define the traffic pattern key point altitude, speed and related distance between the runway threshold in the flight training manual, to facilitate the cross check of student pilot.
- Re-examine the aircraft pilot training course, the criteria for terminate the training.
Three recommendations to Civil Aeronautics Administration:
- Supervise APEX to draft the appropriate mission briefing procedures and contents to improve the trainees’ ability to cope with the situation change.
- Supervise APEX to improve the current monitoring mechanism for solo students, so that the student pilot could obtain immediate and effective assistance during takeoff and landing in case of the abnormal conditions.
- Supervise APEX to re-examine the aircraft pilot training course, the criteria for terminate the training.
Full investigation report is available for download at http://www.asc.gov.tw
Sherry Liu, Engineer