Publish Final Report of Elit’Avia Malta Ltd. Bombardier Global 6000 Aviation Occurrence
The Taiwan Transportation Safety Board (TTSB) publishes the Final Report on the investigation of Elit’Avia Malta Ltd. Bombardier Global 6000 Aviation Occurrence.
On December 30, 2020, at about 1038 Taipei time, Elit’Avia Malta Ltd. flight EAU52P, a Bombardier Global 6000 airplane, departed from Korea Incheon International Airport (RKSI) to Taiwan Taichung International Airport (RCMQ) for a ferry flight with captain, first officer and cabin crew each on board . During landing at RCMQ, left and right wings of the airplane contacted the runway surface. The left and right wing slats, wingtips, and ailerons of the airplane were damaged. No injuries to the persons on board.
According to the Transportation Occurrence Investigation Act of the Republic of China (ROC), and the content of Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, the Taiwan Transportation Safety Board (TTSB), an independent transportation occurrence investigation agency, was responsible for conducting the investigation. The investigation team also included members from the Maltese Bureau of Air Accident Investigation (BAAI), the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB), Bombardier, and Elit’Avia Malta Limited.
The ‘Draft Final Report’ of the occurrence investigation was completed in July 2021. In accordance with the procedures, it was reviewed at TTSB’s 31th Board Meeting on 1 October 2021 and then sent to relevant organizations and authorities for comments. After comments were collected and integrated, the English version Final Report was reviewed and approved by TTSB’s 34th Board Meeting on 7 January 2022.
There are a total of 10 findings in the Final Report. There is no safety recommendation, the safety actions of Elit’Avia Malta and Bombardier are presented in the report.
Findings as the result of this investigation:
Findings Related to Probable Causes
- Taichung International Airport was affected by a strong cold high-pressure weather system at the time of the occurrence. The meteorological conditions were reported to be good visibility and strong gusty wind with significant crosswind for runway 36.
- Two seconds before the aircraft touched down on the runway, the flight crew reacted with a significant and rapid control wheel input to compensate for the disturbances in the roll and pitch of the aircraft caused by the gusty wind conditions. The right wing down control input resulted in a maximum of 6.76 degrees right wing down roll angle and a 9.31 degrees nose up pitch attitude at 0 feet radio altitude. The aircraft touched down hard on the right main landing gear in a right rolling motion. The right wing tip of the aircraft probably contacted the runway surface at this time.
- After the right main gear touched the ground and bounced, followed by the left wing down control input by the pilot flying in an attempt to stop the right roll motion, the aircraft rolled to the left. The aircraft reached a maximum roll angle of 9.4 degrees left wing down. With the pitch attitude at 8.26 degrees, the left wing tip of the aircraft contacted the runway surface.
- The combination of the strong and gusty wind conditions, insufficient time to gain complete control of the aircraft due to late disconnection of the autopilot, the rapid decrease of the airspeed due to a rapid headwind reduction that was not compensated for by increasing thrust and the increased pitch angle by the pitch up control demand of the pilot flying, and the significant and rapid control input of the flight crew during flare to compensate the disturbance of roll and pitch by the gusty wind, resulted in a wingtips abnormal runway contact landing occurrence.
Findings Related to Risk
- The autopilot was disengaged at 219 feet radio altitude. The pilot flying (PF) had only 16 seconds to transit from automatic flight to manual flight before the aircraft reached 30 feet and the PF started the landing flare for touchdown, which gave the PF insufficient time to gain complete control of the aircraft before landing in the strong and gusty wind conditions.
- The difference between the Vref speed adders recommended in different manuals may create confusion and adversely affect the standardization of flight operations during approach and landing in strong and gusty wind conditions.
- The flight crew were properly certificated and qualified in accordance with the related regulations and requirements. No evidence indicated any pre-existing medical conditions, fatigue, medication, or presence of other drugs or alcohol that might have adversely affected the flight crew’s performance during the occurrence flight.
- The occurrence aircraft was properly certified, with no reported technical issues related to the flight controls system in accordance with the relevant technical documents.
- The aircraft’s weight and balance were within the operational limits for the duration of the occurrence flight.
- The flight data recorder (FDR) parameters indicated that the autopilot coupled instrument landing system (ILS) approach of the occurrence flight was a stable approach in accordance with the company’s stabilized approach criteria.
(Detailed information please refer to full Final Report)
Full Final Report in English is available for download at https://www.ttsb.gov.tw
Vivi Yang, Secretariat Office