National Transportation Safety Board
Aviation Accident Final Report

 

 

Location:

Kabul, Afghanistan

Accident Number:

DCA13CA008

Date & Time:

10/17/2012, 0649 UTC

Registration:

N800AW

Aircraft:

BOMBARDIER INC DHC-8-315

Aircraft Damage:

Substantial

Defining Event:

Hard landing

Injuries:

7 None

Flight Conducted Under:

Public Aircraft

Analysis

On October 17, 2012, about 1119 local time, 0649 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), a Bombardier DHC-8-315, registration N800AW, operated by the United States Department of State, experienced a hard landing on runway 29 at Kabul International Airport (OAKB) Kabul, Afghanistan.  There were no injuries to the three passengers or three crewmembers onboard and the aircraft was substantially damaged.  Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time.  The flight had originated from Tarin Kowt Airport (OATN), Tarin Kowt, Afghanistan

According to the flight crew, the takeoff, climb and cruise were uneventful. The captain was the flying pilot.  At 11:12 the flight was cleared for the approach and at 11:16 the flight crew selected flaps 35 and initiated a random steep approach in accordance with company task procedures as a result of the airport threat level.  According to the flight crew statements, the airplane engine power was reduced to idle for the approach and was not increased prior to landing.  Information obtained from Flight Data Recorder (FDR) indicated engine torque was at or near zero for the last 5 minutes of approach and landing.

The aviation routine weather report at 0550 local time indicated wind from 120 degrees at 5 knots, 8000 meters visibility and temperature 17 degrees C.  For the two minutes prior to landing, the wind was light and variable.  A tactical meteorological observation system on the field reported the wind direction during the two minutes prior to landing as variable from 004 degrees to 137 degrees and the wind speed variable from 1 knot to 7.2 knots.  Wind gust recorded during the time period varied from 050 degrees to 079 degrees at 7.0 to 7.2 knots.

Based on FDR data the calculated rate of descent was about 2,000 feet per minute during approach, reducing to about 1,500 feet per minute just prior to landing.  The airplane touched down with a nose up pitch attitude of approximately 8 degrees and a peak vertical acceleration of 2.7g.  The airplane geometry information provided by the manufacturer indicated that aft fuselage contact will result from a pitch attitude over 11.9 degrees with an extended landing gear oleo strut, and a pitch attitude over 6.8 degrees with a compressed landing gear oleo strut.

In order to avoid nuisance warnings resulting from the random steep approach (i.e. steep angle descent), the flight crew deactivated the ground proximity warning system (GPWS) for approach.  As these alerts would be expected by the crew during this type of approach, it is unlikely the alerts would have prompted the crew to take corrective action.

The airplane touched down and contacted the aft fuselage on the runway resulting in substantial damage (including buckled, cracked, and bent frames and stringers).

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
the captains ineffective management of the airplanes energy state during final approach and flare that resulted in a hard landing and tail strike at touchdown.

Findings

Aircraft

Landing flare - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues

Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)

Factual Information

On October 17, 2012, about 1119 local time, 0649 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), a Bombardier DHC-8-315, registration N800AW, operated by the United States Department of State, experienced a hard landing on runway 29 at Kabul International Airport (OAKB) Kabul, Afghanistan.  There were no injuries to the three passengers or three crewmembers onboard and the aircraft was substantially damaged.  Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time.  The flight had originated from Tarin Kowt Airport (OATN), Tarin Kowt, Afghanistan

According to the flight crew, the takeoff, climb and cruise were uneventful. The captain was the flying pilot.  At 11:12 the flight was cleared for the approach and at 11:16 the flight crew selected flaps 35 and initiated a random steep approach in accordance with company task procedures as a result of the airport threat level.  According to the flight crew statements, the airplane engine power was reduced to idle for the approach and was not increased prior to landing.  Information obtained from Flight Data Recorder (FDR) indicated engine torque was at or near zero for the last 5 minutes of approach and landing.

The aviation routine weather report at 0550 local time indicated wind from 120 degrees at 5 knots, 8000 meters visibility and temperature 17 degrees C.  For the two minutes prior to landing, the wind was light and variable.  A tactical meteorological observation system on the field reported the wind direction during the two minutes prior to landing as variable from 004 degrees to 137 degrees and the wind speed variable from 1 knot to 7.2 knots.  Wind gust recorded during the time period varied from 050 degrees to 079 degrees at 7.0 to 7.2 knots.

Based on FDR data the calculated rate of descent was about 2,000 feet per minute during approach, reducing to about 1,500 feet per minute just prior to landing.  The airplane touched down with a nose up pitch attitude of approximately 8 degrees and a peak vertical acceleration of 2.7g.  The airplane geometry information provided by the manufacturer indicated that aft fuselage contact will result from a pitch attitude over 11.9 degrees with an extended landing gear oleo strut, and a pitch attitude over 6.8 degrees with a compressed landing gear oleo strut.

In order to avoid nuisance warnings resulting from the random steep approach (i.e. steep angle descent), the flight crew deactivated the ground proximity warning system (GPWS) for approach.  As these alerts would be expected by the crew during this type of approach, it is unlikely the alerts would have prompted the crew to take corrective action.

The airplane touched down and contacted the aft fuselage on the runway resulting in substantial damage (including buckled, cracked, and bent frames and stringers).

 

History of Flight

Approach-VFR pattern final

Miscellaneous/other

Landing-flare/touchdown

Hard landing (Defining event)

Tailstrike

 

 

Pilot Information

Certificate:

Airline Transport; Commercial

Age:

45

Airplane Rating(s):

Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea

Seat Occupied:

Left

Other Aircraft Rating(s):

None

Restraint Used:

Seatbelt, Shoulder harness

Instrument Rating(s):

Airplane

Second Pilot Present:

Yes

Instructor Rating(s):

Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine; Instrument Airplane

Toxicology Performed:

 

Medical Certification:

Class 2 Without Waivers/Limitations

Last FAA Medical Exam:

01/09/2012

Occupational Pilot:

 

Last Flight Review or Equivalent:

06/16/2012

Flight Time:

10545 hours (Total, all aircraft), 855 hours (Total, this make and model), 10103 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 95 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 18 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 7 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

 

 

Co-Pilot Information

Certificate:

Airline Transport

Age:

47

Airplane Rating(s):

Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land

Seat Occupied:

Right

Other Aircraft Rating(s):

None

Restraint Used:

Seatbelt, Shoulder harness

Instrument Rating(s):

Airplane

Second Pilot Present:

Yes

Instructor Rating(s):

None

Toxicology Performed:

 

Medical Certification:

Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations

Last FAA Medical Exam:

01/18/2012

Occupational Pilot:

 

Last Flight Review or Equivalent:

05/22/2012

Flight Time:

15730 hours (Total, all aircraft), 8333 hours (Total, this make and model), 142 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 92 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 7 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

 

 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make:

BOMBARDIER INC

Registration:

N800AW

Model/Series:

DHC-8-315

Aircraft Category:

Airplane

Year of Manufacture:

 

Amateur Built:

No

Airworthiness Certificate:

Normal

Serial Number:

573

Landing Gear Type:

Retractable - Tricycle

Seats:

48

Date/Type of Last Inspection:

09/22/2012, Continuous Airworthiness

Certified Max Gross Wt.:

 

Time Since Last Inspection:

 

Engines:

2 Turbo Prop

Airframe Total Time:

18533 Hours at time of accident

Engine Manufacturer:

Pratt and Whitney

ELT:

Installed, not activated

Engine Model/Series:

PW123E

Registered Owner:

US DEPARTMENT OF STATE

Rated Power:

2380 hp

Operator:

US DEPARTMENT OF STATE

Operating Certificate(s) Held:

None

 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site:

Visual Conditions

Condition of Light:

Day

Observation Facility, Elevation:

OAKB

Distance from Accident Site:

0 Nautical Miles

Observation Time:

1116

Direction from Accident Site:

Lowest Cloud Condition:

 

Visibility

10 Miles

Lowest Ceiling:

 

Visibility (RVR):

 

Wind Speed/Gusts:

2 knots / 4 knots

Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:

/

Wind Direction:

160°

Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:

/

Altimeter Setting:

30.27 inches Hg

Temperature/Dew Point:

19°C / 2°C

Precipitation and Obscuration:

 

Departure Point:

Tarin (OATN)

Type of Flight Plan Filed:

VFR

Destination:

Kabul (OAKB)

Type of Clearance:

VFR Flight Following

Departure Time:

 

Type of Airspace:

 

 

Airport Information

Airport:

Kabul International Airport (OAKB)

Runway Surface Type:

Asphalt

Airport Elevation:

5872 ft

Runway Surface Condition:

Dry

Runway Used:

29

IFR Approach:

None

Runway Length/Width:

11483 ft / 148 ft

VFR Approach/Landing:

Full Stop; Traffic Pattern

 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries:

4 None

Aircraft Damage:

Substantial

Passenger Injuries:

3 None

Aircraft Fire:

None

Ground Injuries:

N/A

Aircraft Explosion:

None

Total Injuries:

7 None

Latitude, Longitude:

34.566667, 69.201389 (est)

 


 


Administrative Information

Investigator In Charge (IIC):

David Helson

Report Date:

04/03/2013

Additional Participating Persons:

 

Publish Date:

04/03/2013

Note:

This accident report documents the factual circumstances of this accident as described to the NTSB.

Investigation Docket:

http://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms/search/dockList.cfm?mKey=85429