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24th of June 2003

A Tupolev Tu-134Skh was scheduled for a post-maintenance delivery and test flight on this day in 2003. The aircraft had been in major maintenance over the last two months before the flight. A previous test flight had been carried out after the rudder actuators had been replaced. The flight would depart from Nyagan Airport with Salekhard Airport, approximately 500 kilometres (310 miles) away

The aircraft after coming to a stop (Source; © Unknown)

That test flight had not been satisfactory, as the rudder deflection speed had been reduced from 38.2 º/sec to 18.3 º/sec, also more force was required to deflect the rudder. Adjustments were carried out after which the test flight was scheduled on the 24th of June 2003.

During the flight preparation, the crew noticed the defect was still present, however, the decision was made to carry out the flight. After the engines were started the aircraft taxied to and onto the 2530 meters (8300 feet) long runway, and after receiving the take-off clearance the crew pushed the throttles forward.

As the aircraft accelerated down the runway it started to deviate from the runway centreline. After attempts to correct this with rudder inputs failed, the captain decided to use the nosewheel steering to correct the deviation. The aircraft speed was ~150 kph (80 knots). Almost immediately the right-hand nosewheel burst. Although the tire failure was noticed by the crew the take-off was initially continued. At a speed of 250 kph (135 knots( the decision was made to abort the take-off. By that time the aircraft had travelled so far down the runway, that the aircraft could not be stopped before the runway's end. What made the situation worse at the time was the fact that the emergency brake and spoilers were not used by the crew. The aircraft left the paved surface of the runway and continued for ~580 meters (~1900 feet) on soft ground, resulting in the collapse of the nose landing gear and causing substantial damage to the aircraft.

Tracks on the soft ground, with the aircraft in the background (Source; © Unknown)

An investigation by the Ministry of Transport identified the following factors that played a part in the cause of this runway overrun;

  1. Poor quality of work by the maintenance staff when working on the aircraft

  2. The incorrectly installed rudder actuator was not discovered

  3. Continuation of the flight after discovering flight control issues during the pre-flight check

  4. Late rejection of the take-off

** 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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