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17th of September 2016, Blog #540

A de Havilland Dash 8-400 was to perform a scheduled passenger service between Riga (Latvia) to Zurich (Switzerland) on this day in aviation history, in 2016, With all preparations complete and the 63 passengers on board, the crew (four) closed the doors and completed the necessary checklist and started the engines.

The aircraft shortly after it came to a stop, after the evacuation of the passengers was completed (source; twitter.com © @thePixiepress)

The aircraft taxied towards Riga's runway 18 and received the take-off clearance when approaching the runway. The throttles were pushed forward and the aircraft accelerated down the runway and lifted off the runway without any abnormal indications. With a positive climb rate indicated, the landing gear was selected up.

A short while later the crew contacted ATC and reported problems with the nose landing gear. They requested a level off at 5000 and enter a hold to complete the necessary checklists. The nose landing gear was indicated in "Transit". It would not fully retract, nor would it extend again. After completing the necessary QRH (Quick Reference Handbook) checklists and more the one and a half hours in a holding pattern, a low pass over the runway at Riga was made. It was verified at that time that the nose gear was not fully retracted, and not in a normal position.

The aircraft and airport fire and rescue services shortly after the aircraft landed (Source AVherald.com © Unknown)

After receiving this news the crew prepared the aircraft for a landing with the nose landing gear not extended. two and a half hours after take off the aircraft landed at runway 36 of Riga. The aircraft touched down normally, and the crew kept the nose up as long as elevator authority allowed it. The aircraft came to a stop on the runway, there were no injuries.


An investigation was launched by the TAIIB (Latvia's Transport Accident Incident Investigation Bureau ) and on the 13the of June 2018, they released the final report. As the root cause of the accident insufficient retention of bushings in the nose landing gear was identified. As one of the contributing factors moisture and runway de-icers penetration in the joint, salt-based de-icing (potassium formate and sodium acetate) caused cadmium plating dissolving and base metal corrosion progression was named.

Video made by a passenger of the landing (Source Youtube.com / Observerchannel © Unknown)

** Editorial note **


V2 Aviation - Training & Maintenance has not been able to obtain an investigation report on this accident. This blog is therefore based on several internet sources. Should there be an inconsistency 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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