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11 December 2015, Blog #577

With a crew of two and four passengers onboard, a Cessna 550 Citation II was operating a private flight between Saint Brieuc-Tremuson and Oyonnax-Arbent Airfield (both in France). The flight took off under an IFR flight plan and proceeded without difficulty to its destination on the ~370 nautical miles (685 kilometres) flight.

The aircraft after recovery (Source; © Anon)

The captain operated as Pilot Flying (PF) and the co-pilot operated as Pilot Monitoring (PM). While descending through 5.000 feet the PM contacted ATC, cancelling the IFR flight plan and informing them they would continue under VFR rules, using the autopilot.

The weather was calm;

  • Light winds from the north-east at 1 to 2 knots

  • Few cirrus clouds at 7000 meters

  • Visibility 10 km

  • Temperature 3ºC

  • QNH 1033 hPa

A short while later the PM lowered the flaps to 15º, this is followed by a radio call on the aerodrome information frequency they would cross the field at a height of 1000 feet, entering a downwind leg for runway 22. While on the downwind leg the landing gear was lowered. The PM then makes a remark that a landing at runway 04 would probably have been easier with the current wind, but it would be no problem.

Recovery of the aircraft by crane (Source; © Anon)

At the start of the base leg, the PF disconnected the autopilot and starts the final descent to the runway, asking the PM to extend the flaps to "full flaps". The PM announces a short while later that the flaps are at the "full flaps" position. (FDR Data later revealed the flaps were retracted at this point) When turning on to the final approach, descending through 500 feet, 1.2 NM from the threshold the EGPWS (Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning Messages) "TERRAIN TERRAIN" and "Pull-up, Pull-up" warnings sound.

During the final approach, the PM announced he was extending the airbrakes and they were on speed. The PF was surprised by this remark as he thought they were fast, the PM stated "No it's good, you are at Vref+10 (10 knots above the Approach Reference Speed). The EGPWS warning "TOO LOW FLAPS" sounded followed by the 200 feet Radio Altitude callout. Directly followed by another callout of the "TOO LOW FLAPS" warning. The PM again states he was extending the airbrakes. During the flare, the "TOO LOW FLAPS" warning sounded three more times followed by the PM selecting full flaps. The aircraft touched down just before the mid-runway point of the 77o meter long runway (with a 0.6% downslope), at which time the PF applies the brakes and selects reverse thrust. The remaining runway length was insufficient to stop the aircraft and it left the runway, at which point the nose gear broke off. The aircraft crossed an embankment, 150 meters from the runway end, coming to a stop a few meters further against some trees. None of the occupants of the aircraft sustained any injuries, the aircraft received substantial damage and was written off as damaged beyond repair.

Radar plot of the approach with the following (translated) annotation by the BEA: 1. Flaps 15 @ 3500 feet // 2. Gear down // 3. AP disconnect // 4. Flaps retract //

5. "TERRAIN TERRAIN" and "Pull-up, Pull-up" EGPWS warnings // "TO LOW FLAPS" EGPWS warning // Flaps selected down // touchdown 306 meters from Threshold (© BEA)

The BEA (Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analysis pour le sécurité de l'aviation civile) investigated the accident and in their report, published approximately one year later they identified the following factors as contributing to the accident;

  • The crew underestimated the workload of landing on a short runway in the mountains

  • Lack of instrument monitoring by the crew by being focused outside the flight deck

  • Lack of checklist use before landing

  • Lack of coordinated and effective response to the EGPWS alarms

The BEA investigation report, which served as the source for this blog, is available by clicking on the .pdf file below;

Citation II Runway Overrun 11-dec-2015
Download PDF • 1.28MB

** Editorial note **

V2 Aviation - Training & Maintenance has not been able to obtain an investigation report in English on this accident. This blog is therefore based on a translation of the original report. Should there be inconsistencies in the blog don't hesitate to get in touch with us. There are two possibilities to do that, via the comments function at the bottom of this page or via the contact page of the website.

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