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Citywing flight within metre of runway strike in ‘Serious Incident’ Isle of Man

Citywing Let Turbolet

Citywing Let Turbolet similair to the one involved in the incident.

An Air Accident Investigations Branch (AAIB) report showed that aircraft operating for defunct Citywing came within one metre of its left wing striking the runway during a landing at Ronaldsway, Isle of Man in 2017.

The near miss led to the Operator, Van Air Europe, being suspended from operating in the UK immediately and ultimately, the demise of Citywing.

The incident occurred on 23rd February 2017 and according to the AAIB report the aircraft, a Let L-410 turboprop OK-LAZ, was operating a Citywing flight from the Isle of Man (IOM/EGNS) to Belfast City (BHD/EGAC). The crew made an unsuccessful attempt to land at Belfast City before returning to the Isle of Man.

On landing, at the Isle of Man, the wind was gusting at 63 knots (72mph) which created a crosswind of up to 40 knots (46mph). On landing a witness saw the right wheel lift off the ground and the left wing of the high-wing aircraft came within one-metre of impacting the runway in what the AAIB describe as a “serious incident”.

After landing the Air Traffic controller took the decision to stop the aircraft from taxiing to parking, halting it in position and referred the incident to the Isle of Man Civil Aviation Administration. This was done “with the aim of preventing an accident”.

Van Air Europe blocking runway at Isle of Man

According to the AAIB report“The relevant maximum demonstrated crosswind component for the Let L-410 is 19.4 kt and this was included in the ‘Performance Limitations’ section of the Airplane Flight Manual (AFM) but the aircraft operator did not apply a limiting component of crosswind to its operations. The only wind limit that was applied and used by the crew was 45 kt for ground operation. “

The report concluded that the serious incident was caused by the crew opting to land in a crosswind which was double the demonstrated certification value of the aircraft. It made safety recommendations which included changing how the Aircraft Operator view crosswind limitations and meteorological information.

The main recommendation reads “It is recommended that the Civil Aviation Authority of the Czech Republic review Van Air’s operational processes, training and operator’s guidance to
ensure that they are effectively compliant with the applicable regulations for commercial air transport operations.”.

Read the full report

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