20th of May 2007

A Canadair CL-600-2B19 Regional Jet (CRJ-100ER) was operating a domestic passenger flight between Moncton (New Brunswick, Canada) and Toronto (Ontario, Canada). Three crew members and 37 passengers were on board the aircraft.

The failed righthand main landing gear folded backwards (Source © unknown)

After an uneventful flight, the aircraft was approaching Runway 06R, the wind was 330º gusting from 13 to 23 knots. During the approach, the crew did not adhere to the sterile cockpit principle below 10.000 feet. The approach was flown with the autopilot engaged and all systems were operating normally and the approach was stabilized.

Between 30 and 40 feet AGL (Above Ground Level) the autopilot was disconnected (the airline's Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) required the autopilot to be disengaged at 80 feet AGL). At 30 feet AGL the flare was initiated and at 5 feet AGL the thrust levers were retarded to ~55% (the SOPs required the throttles to be placed in idle at 50 feet AGL this to led the engines spool down to idle before touchdown, idle is ~25%N1 in ISA).

The left main landing gear folded backwards (Source © unknown)

Four seconds after the autopilot was disconnected the aircraft touched down heavily on the left main landing gear and bounced back into the air, reaching a height of ~10 feet AGL. The aircraft rolled right rapidly and a second touchdown occurred on the right main landing gear. The Ground Lift Dumpers did not deploy on the first touchdown as the criteria for deployment were not met, the primary one being that the engines need to be at idle or the N1 below 40% (the engines were at 55% on this landing). During the bounce, the logic was met and the Ground Lift Dumpers and spoilers did deploy at a height 0f 8-10 feet. This caused the aircraft to slam onto the runway with a vertical speed of 1200 feet/min causing both main landing gears to fail. The crew did not realise that both gears had failed, and only when the aircraft was shut down on the taxiway and the captain exited the aircraft did he realise the situation they were in and immediately order a rapid disembarkation.

The aircraft in its final position after coming to a stop (Source © Paul Cardin)

The accident was investigated by the Transporation Safety Board of Canada, and on the 2nd of June 2009, they released their investigation report, which is available by clicking here. In their detailed report, they listed the following findings;

  1. On final approach, the captain diverted his attention from monitoring the flight, leaving most of the decision making and control of the aircraft to the first officer, who was significantly less experienced on the aircraft type. As a result, the first officer was not fully supervised during the late stages of the approach.

  2. The first officer did not adhere to the Air Canada Jazz standard operating procedures (SOPs) in the handling of the autopilot and thrust levers on short final, which left the aircraft highly susceptible to a bounce, and without the bounce, protection normally provided by the ground lift dump (GLD) system.

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