Stord crash report published

The Norwegian Accident Investigation Board Norway (AIBN) has published the final report into the crash of Atlantic Airways BAe 146-200 OY-CRG (msn E2075) on 10 October 2006. OY-CRG was destroyed in a fire after over-running the runway at Stord, Norway, with four fatalities among the twelve passengers and four crewmembers onboard. The AIBN found that the spoilers did not deploy on landing, but it was unable to pinpoint the reason for this except to rule out pilot error, as the aircraft was completely destroyed in the post-crash fire. Fire damage also made most of the Flight Data Recorder data illegible. The AIBN suggested that the spoilers might not have deployed because of a mechanical fault in the spoiler lever mechanism, or because of faults in two of the four thrust lever micro switches (that sense the position of the thrust levers, and prevent the spoilers from deploying unless at least three engines are at or aft of the ‘flight idle’ position). The lack of spoilers alone would not have been sufficient to prevent the aircraft from coming to a safe stop. However, alarmed by the lack of deceleration, the pilot applied the emergency brakes, which caused the wheels to lock as the emergency brakes lack anti-skid protection. In combination with a damp, ungrooved runway, this resulted in ‘reverted rubber hydroplaning’, in which rubber in the tyres boils, creating a cushion of steam under the wheels and reducing braking effect. This prevented the aircraft from coming to a full stop before the end of the runway, but even then the consequences would likely have been mild had there not been a steep drop-off just past the end of the runway. The airport’s technical and operational approval had been renewed just a few months earlier, in June 2006, despite the landing area not being in conformity with safety rules, albeit with a requirement that the safety area at the runway’s end be improved by October 2008. The AIBN made two recommendations in light of its analysis: to improve procedures to assess and mitigate risks at airports that do not conform to safety rules, as in the case of Stord; and to improve BAe 146 pilot training and operational procedures for problems associated with inoperative lift spoilers.

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