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18th of March 2010

An Antonov An-26B was operating a scheduled cargo flight between Helsinki (Finland) and Tallinn (Estonia). Onboard a crew of 4, a mechanic and a loadmaster. The aircraft was heavy for the take-off, only 46 kilograms below the Maximum Take-Off Weight with a take-off weight of 23964 kilograms. As per procedure, the APU (A RU 19-300 APU) was running during the take-off for additional thrust, Shortly after take-off, it was switched off.

The aircraft after the crash landing

(Source and © Estonian Safety Investigation Bureau)


The flight was uneventful and the crew had briefed a landing at Runway 26 at Tallinn. At 9.6 nm from the runway the power levers were placed in the flight idle position, shortly afterwards a vibration was felt and a smell of smoke was observed in the cockpit.

A check of the relevant cockpit indication revealed a lit indicator metal particles were detected in the left engine oil system, After a short discussion about which engine would have to be shut down, the left engine was shut down by the flight engineer. The captain tried to start the APU for additional thrust but was unsuccessful. ATC informed the crew at the time they were deviating from the approach path. At 0,5 nm from the threshold, the crew became visual with the runway. At that time the aircraft was not configured for landing and crossed the airport perimeter at a speed of ~160 knots (~300 kph). Over the runway threshold, the flaps were lowered to 10º and the gear was cycled, down and up. the aircraft continued over the runway at an altitude of 10 -15 feet (3 - 4,5 meters) with the gear cycling down and up again.

At end of the runway full power was selected as well as flaps down and the aircraft climbed a few feet (15 - 20 feet / 4,5 - 6 meters) and started a turn to the left. Flaps and landing gear were retracted and the aircraft had reached an altitude of 30 feet (9 meters) while overflying the highway at the end of the runway. After reaching the 30 feet altitude the aircraft slowly descended and collided with treetops and landed on an ice-covered lake at the shoreline. Due to the thick ice, the aircraft did not break through the ice and slid on the ice for 151 meters (495 feet) and came to a stop on the ice. The flight engineer had initiated the shutdown of the righthand engine, shut down all power and discharged all engine fire extinguishers. All crew safely evacuated the aircraft, with one of them sustaining light injuries

Close-up of the aircraft after the crashlanding (Source and © Estonian Safety Investigation Bureau)


The Estonian Safety Investigation Bureau launched an investigation and published their report, which is available by clicking here. They determined the cause of the accident was;

  1. The failure of the left engine lubrication oil system, leading to the failure of the rear compressor bearing and inflight engine failure.

  2. The failure of the crew to maintain the approach path and adhere to single-engine landing procedures.

More details can be found in the report which is referred to a little earlier in this blog.

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