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12th of October 2012, Oil leak, Blog #620

With a crew of three (two pilots and a cabin attendant) a BAe Jetstream 31 was operating a charter flight from San Juan-Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in Puerto Rico to Punta Cana International Airport in the Dominican Republic. The flight was carrying the crew of an Air Europa flight due to leave Punta Cana at a later point in time.

The wreckage during the CIAA investigation (Source & © CIAA) The weather at Punta Cana was good, with light winds, scattered clouds, good visibility and a temperature of 30ºC. Until the approach to Punta Cana, the short flight (~135 nm / 250 km) had been uneventful. During the approach, the crew noticed a fluctuation in oil pressure for the righthand engine. The approach was continued and the aircraft touchdown, without further problems on runway 08 at Punta Cana. Reverse pitch was selected and the aircraft started to decelerate, ~1500 feet after touchdown the aircraft started to deviate to the left, making a 45º turn. It left the runway through the grass runway edge and entered a wooded area, colliding with a tree. This caused a fuel tank to rupture and a fire broke out as the aircraft came to a stop on the left-hand side of the fuselage. All occupants of the aircraft managed to evacuate the aircraft safely, although two passengers sustained light injuries. The aircraft was destroyed by the fuel-fed fire.

The wreckage during the CIAA investigation (Source & © CIAA) The accident was investigated by the CIAA (Comisión Investigadora de Accidentes de Aviación) of the Dominican Republic. In their report (available in Spanish as a .pdf file at the end of this blog) they reported the following findings;

  1. Damage to the #1 propeller was characteristic of an operating engine during the accident

  2. On the #2 propeller, three (3) out of the 4 blades were feathered, the fourth was not.

  3. The controls for the right-hand engine were in the closed position

  4. The left-hand engine contained 6 quarts of engine oil during strip down at the OEM.

  5. The right-hand engine only contained ~2,5 quarts of engine oil during strip down at the OEM.

  6. During the strip down an oil leak was found at the head connection of the propeller governor.

  7. The CVR tape had failed (broken), rendering the CVR useless for the investigation.

  8. The FDR, mandatory for the operation under the applicable legislation was not installed on the aircraft.

The tree that was hit by the left wing, causing the fuel leak and subsequent fire (Source & © CIAA)

The CIAA concluded that the probable cause of the accident could be separated into two categories;

  • Human Factors During the final phase of the landing, the pilot observed a fluctuation of the oil pressure for the #2 engine. Reverse was selected without waiting for the Beta light (essential for the correct operation of the propeller to the reverse pitch position, resulting in only the left-hand propeller going into reverse.

  • Material The right-hand engine had lost a considerable amount of oil, which was indicated by the fluctuating oil pressure during the final approach

The CIAA report;

12Oct2012 J31 Oil Leak
Download PDF • 3.18MB

** 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 several internet sources. 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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