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23rd of June 2004

A 1985 built, Dornier DO228-201 had operated a scheduled passenger flight from Reykjavik to Sauðárkrókur (Iceland) without any problems on this day in aviation history in 2004. The crew (2 pilots) then set off for a training flight to Siglufjörður Airport to fly some approaches, as a so-called "Competence Control Flight.

The aircraft in its final position on the runway (Source and © RNF)

The weather was good on this day in 2004;

  • Wind - 50º at 7 knots

  • Visibility - 10 kilometers

  • Cloud base - 1500 ft

  • Temperature - 7 ºC

  • QNH - 1016 mbar

While approaching runway 07 at Siglufjörður Airport the captain switched off the GPWS (Ground Proximity Warning System, click here for more info on GPWS. This to avoid repetitive nuisance warnings due to the airport not being in the aircraft terrain database. The first approach and touchdown were uneventful. After touchdown the captain decided to complete touch and go, the throttles were forwarded and the aircraft accelerated down the runway and lifted off. With a positive climb rate indicated the landing gear was selected up and the aircraft was levelled off at 500 feet. A right-hand circuit was flown and the aircraft was established on an approach for runway 07 once more.

The flight path based on FDR data, please note that the terrain shown is added for reference (Source and ©; RNF) After a normal approach, the aircraft was flared and settled on its belly, sliding for approximately 280 meters (just over 900 feet). before coming to a stop. still on the paved surface of the runway. The crew completed the necessary (emergency) checklist after which they evacuated the aircraft, there were no injuries reported.

The aircraft was substantially damaged, it was removed from the runway and transported by boat to Reykjavik for repair. It was reregistered with the intention to repair the aircraft and be operated by another airline. This plan did not come to fruition as the damage was ultimately accessed as damaged beyond repair.

The accident was investigated by the Rannsóknarnefnd Flugslysa - RNF, the Icelandic Air Accident Investigation Branch and in their report described the following probable cause;

"Belly landing after the crew failed to follow the approach checklist and failed to lower the landing gear for a second touch-and-go manoeuvre"

The aircraft in better days. (Source; © Sigurdur Benediktsson)

The following contributing factors were identified;

  • The crew failed to check that the three green lights were ON

  • The aircraft was unstable on the final approach

  • The captain took over control without knowing how to proceed with the approach

  • The presence of birds in the vicinity of the runway disturbed the crew

  • The landing gear alert system was not correctly set

  • The right-hand circuit was completed at a low altitude of 500 feet

The investigation report by the RNF is available by clicking here, please be advised the report is in Icelandic.

The operator's normal checklist, with the check for

"Landing gear - Down & 3 green" in the Final Checklist. (Source; RNF © Operator)

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