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24th of September 2010, Blog #547

Updated: Sep 24, 2022

With a crew of five and 124 passengers on board, an Airbus A319-132 was operating a domestic passenger flight between Rome Fiumicino Airport and Palermo-Punta Raisi Airport, both in Italy. The captain was to be the pilot monitoring (PM) while the co-pilot was the pilot flying (PF) during the flight.

The failed main landing gears (© ANSV)

After an uneventful flight, the aircraft was cleared VOR-Z for runway 07 at Palermo. While descending the crew received the latest weather info;

  • Wind: 060º at 14 knots

  • Thunderstorm with rain

  • Cloud: Few CB at 1800 feet // Scattered at 2200 feet // broken at 3000 feet

  • Temperature / Dewpoint; 20ºC / 18ºC

  • Windshear warning for runway 20

Heavy rain was coming down as the crew flew their night approach to runway 07 at Palermo. When on final approach, at an altitude of 810 feet (100 feet above the Minimum Decision Altitude) after the "MINIMUMS MINIMUMS", callout from the EGPWS (Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System) the PM instructed the copilot to continue the approach, although the PF did not have the runway in sight (and a go-around should have been flown).

The aircraft at the edge of the runway after coming to a stop (© ANSV)

The descent was continued at an altitude of 240 feet (570 feet below MDA) the copilot reported the runway in sight, however, reported to the captain the PAPI (Precision Approach Path Indicator) was showing all four lights red. At that time the captain took control of the aircraft and continued the approach although the aeroplane had deviated from the descent profile and the approach became unstabilised.

Localiser antenna parts embedded in the aircraft (© ANSV)

With a vertical speed of 1360 feet per minute, the aircraft touched down 367 meters short of the threshold of runway 07 and collided with the ILS localiser antenna for runway 25. At the moment of impact, both main landing gears were torn from their fittings. The aircraft continued to slide on its s belly for ~850 meters before coming to a stop on the left side of the runway. After common to a stop the crew completed the necessary shutdown checklists while an evacuation was in progress.

35 out of the 129 occupants of the aircraft suffered varying levels of injury.

Lower aft fuselage damage (© ANSV)

The ANSV (Agenzia Nazionale per la Sicurezza del Vollo - Nation Agency for Flight Safety) was alerted and started an investigation. In their report, the following probable cause is identified although the main cause can be attributed to Human Factors;

"The fact that the aircraft contacted the ground took place about 367 meters short of the runway threshold was due to the crew's decision to continue the instrument approach without a declared shared acquisition of the necessary visual references for the completion of the non-precision procedure and of the landing manoeuvre. The investigation revealed no elements to consider that the incident occurred due to technical factors inherent in the aircraft. design."

The aircraft being recovered (Source © unknown)

A long list of contributing factors was also noted in the report, the can be accessed by clicking on the .pdf file below. (Please note, the report is in Italian)

A319 undershoot 24-sep-2010
Download PDF • 5.28MB

** 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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