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25th of August 2010, Blog #517

Updated: Aug 25, 2022

A crew of three was operating an Embraer Emb-145LU on this day in 2010. The flight was carrying 35 passengers on a domestic flight from Säo Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport to Vitória da Conquista Airport in Brasil.

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

The co-pilot was acting as pilot flying (PF) and the captain was acting as pilot monitoring. After an uneventful flight, the aircraft was vectored to runway 15 for a visual approach. As the aircraft was configured during the approach the PF encountered some problems keeping the aircraft on the correct glide path while the presence of birds and the relief in the landscape caused some distraction for the crew.

On short finals, while low on the glideslope, the mainlanding gear and part of the aircraft's belly hit a small mound located just a few meters short of the runway threshold.

The aircraft in its final position

(Source; © Unknown)

Both main landing gears were ripped from their fittings and the aircraft slammed onto the runway on its belly. It slid down the runway for approximately 300 meters then started veering off to the left. The crew was unable to control the direction of the aircraft and the aircraft left the paved surface of the runway coming to a stop about 35 meters to th left of the runway edge. During this time the right engine caught fire. The crew completed the necessary emergency checklists while an emergency was initiated. Al occupants of the aircraft escaped uninjured, the aircraft was damaged beyond repair.

The aircraft in its final position

(Source; © Unknown)

The CENIPA (Centre for Investigation and Prevention of Aviation Accidents of Brasil) was informed about the accident and launched an investigation. In their final report they identified the following contributing factors, without identifying a probable cause;

  1. Attention The crew was focused on the geographical terrain, and presence of birds, causing a lack of awareness of the correct approach path

  2. Culture There was a culture of maintaining a low approach angle during visual approaches, not using VASIS (Visual Approach Slope Indicator System )

  3. Handling of the aircraft Problems encountered by the PF to maintain the correct glide path

  4. Visual Illusions Geographical features (runway width, upward slope, low terrain near threshold) resulted in an angle of approach below the required one

  5. Crew planning It was the first flight for both flight crew members to this airport. A crewmember with previous experience in the locality would have a higher level of awareness in relation to the specific characteristics of the aerodrome.

Different runway slopes and positions of the aircraft relative to the ideal approach slope. (© CENIPA)

The investigation report into the accident, on which this blog is based, is available for the readers' reference by clicking on the file below;

Emb145 Undershoot 25-Aug-2010
Download PDF • 1.19MB

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