A de Havilland Canan DHC-6 Twin Otter 300 (Twin Otter) was operating a domestic passenger flight on this day in aviation history in 2006. The aircraft had departed Mary's Harbour Airport at 12.32 local time, destination St, Anthony (Canda). Onboard a crew of two and 8 passengers. The flight was performed on the Visual Flight Rules (VFR) with the captain as pilot monitoring and the first officer as pilot flying.
Close up of the damaged nose section of the aircraft. (Source: Royal Canadian Mounted Police)
During the flight, the crew obtained the weather for St. Anthony, which was reported as;
Wind 030T/27 Gusting 38
Visibility 9 miles
Clouds Broken 900 feet / overcast 3200 feet
QNH 29.60 InHg
The flight was cleared for the approach to Runway 10, and once on the approach the landing checks were completed, and the flaps were set to 20º. Due to the strong crosswind, the crew discussed how to fly the approach and the landing, it was decided that the first officer would fly the approach, guided by the captain, as to maintain the aircraft in the extended centreline of the runway, Just before landing the first officer was having difficulty controlling the aircraft. The captain observed his colleague struggling and asked if the first officer wanted to transfer control, the control was transferred less than 2 seconds from touchdown. The first touchdown was on the left main wheel, causing the aircraft to bounce back into the air before touching down a second time, landing hard on the nosewheel only. The nose wheel separated from the aircraft and control of the aircraft was lost,
The aircraft in its final position, note the nosewheel in the foreground (Source: Royal Canadian Mounted Police)
The aircraft yawed to the left, with the right wing tip touching the runway for a short moment. After sliding on its nose for 488 feet (!48 meters) the aircraft came to a stop, ~2000 feet (~600 meters) from the threshold of Runway 10. None of the occupants was injured.
The aircraft sustained damage to the;
Noseheel and nosewheel fork fractured from the nose landing gear (Point A. on the diagram)
Nose landing gear strut at points B. & C.
The nose landing gear strut bend backwards
Structural damage to the aircraft structure
Main Landing Gear attachment frames damaged
Right-wing tip and outboard aileron hinge damaged
The accident was investigated by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, which published its report into the accident about a year later. It is available, by clicking here. They concluded their report with the following findings as to causes and contributing factors;
The captain permitted the first officer to continue with a challenging approach.
Control of the aircraft was passed to the captain with insufficient time to position the aircraft for a successful landing. The nose landing gear
The aircraft landed hard, (Source: www.tsb.gc.ca) resulting in the collapse of the nose gear due to overstress failures.