Plane skid­ded off runway af­ter pi­lot used wrong brake

Bristol Post - - NEWS - Kr­is­han DAVIS kr­is­[email protected]­

❝ The pi­lot ... was un­able to main­tain di­rec­tional con­trol ... and the air­craft ran off the left side of the runway onto the grass Of­fi­cial re­port

APLANE ac­ci­dent which dis­rupted the Christ­mas get­away for thou­sands of peo­ple hap­pened be­cause a pi­lot used the wrong brake, a re­port has found.

The BMI flight skid­ded off the runway while land­ing at Bris­tol Air­port on De­cem­ber 22 2017, com­ing to a halt af­ter trav­el­ling 120 me­tres along grass.

Con­trol was lost by the pi­lot as the emergency brake was mis­tak­enly se­lected, rather than the speed brake, ac­cord­ing to the Air Accidents In­ves­ti­ga­tion Branch (AAIB).

The AAIB noted that the levers for both brakes are “of sim­i­lar shape and sited close to each other” in the cock­pit of the Em­braer 145 air­craft in­volved in the ac­ci­dent.

It stated that a high work­load due to mul­ti­ple ra­dio in­ter­rup­tions con­trib­uted to the mis­take go­ing un­no­ticed.

None of the 22 pas­sen­gers or three crew on the flight from Frankfurt were in­jured, but the air­craft’s land­ing gear was bro­ken and its wheel rims and tyres were dam­aged.

At least 60 flights were can­celled or di­verted while spe­cial­ist equip­ment was brought in to re­move the plane which had dug in to the grass.

The AAIB’s syn­op­sis of the in­ci­dent said the flight crew no­ticed the nose gear touched down ‘sharply’ af­ter the main gear be­fore the pi­lot lost con­trol.

The re­port reads: “The pi­lot fly­ing (PF) was un­able to main­tain di­rec­tional con­trol dur­ing the land­ing roll and the air­craft ran off the left side of the runway onto the grass.

“At some point dur­ing the land­ing the throt­tles were moved for­ward, re­duc­ing the rate of de­cel­er­a­tion. As the air­craft left the paved sur­face the crew re­alised that the land­ing had been car­ried out with the emergency/park­ing brake set.

“The air­craft may have re­mained on the runway sur­face but for the ad­di­tion of for­ward thrust dur­ing the land­ing roll.”

The plane had just made an un­event­ful jour­ney to and from Frankfurt in cen­tral Ger­many be­fore the ac­ci­dent hap­pened in Bris­tol.

The cap­tain-un­der-train­ing flew both legs while a com­pany train­ing cap­tain was the com­man­der of the flights.

The re­port said the pi­lot had had 17 hours of flight time in the Em­braer 145 and his train­ing had pro­gressed well up to that point.

The AAIB con­cluded the shape and lo­ca­tion of the brake levers may have con­trib­uted to the in­ci­dent.

“The ac­ci­dent arose as a re­sult of the in­ad­ver­tent se­lec­tion of the emergency/park­ing brake in­stead of the speed brake,” the con­clu­sion reads.

“The levers are of sim­i­lar shape and sited close to each other but with a dif­fer­ent ap­pear­ance and mode of ac­tion. There is also a brake on in­di­ca­tor light.

“These risk con­trols proved in­ef­fec­tive in pre­vent­ing the in­ad­ver­tent se­lec­tion of the emergency/ park­ing brake both on this oc­ca­sion and on at least two pre­vi­ous oc­ca­sions.

“Once the park­ing brake had been set there were op­por­tu­ni­ties to de­tect and cor­rect the er­ror, but a busy flight deck en­vi­ron­ment to­gether with a high work­load con- trib­uted to it go­ing un­no­ticed.

“Af­ter touch­down, the air­craft may have re­mained on the runway sur­face but for the ad­di­tion of for­ward thrust dur­ing the land­ing roll. The man­u­fac­turer stated that it did not in­tend to con­duct a sys­tem re­view re­lat­ing to the park­ing brake sta­tus.”

Fol­low­ing the ac­ci­dent, BMI has up­dated its land­ing checklist so the pi­lot makes sure the park­ing brake is off.

The ac­ci­dent caused se­vere dis­rup­tion at Bris­tol Air­port on one of its busi­est days of the year just be­fore Christ­mas. Dozens of flights to and from the air­port were can­celled. It was 11.30pm be­fore the plane was towed to a safe lo­ca­tion, and the runway re­opened.

The plane came to rest on grass along­side the runway at Bris­tol Air­port

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