A Boeing 737-7M2 was operating a domestic scheduled service between Luanda-4 de Fevereiro Airport and Soyo Airport (Angola) on this day in aviation history. On board the aircraft, a crew of six and forty passengers for the short ~315 kilometres (~197 miles) flight.
The aircraft in its final position (© Prestigio) The flight took off from Luanda at 09.29 lt (local time) and set course for Soyo airport, during the flight there were no technical issues. An uneventful approach to Runway 24 at Soyo airport was flown and just after 10:00 lt the flight landed on Runway 24 in Soyo Airport (Angola) in Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC) and good weather conditions, according to the (limited) Metar available;
Wind - 210º at 9 knots
Visibility - 10km
Clouds - Few at 2000 feet
Temperature - 29ºC
QNH - 1014 hPa
After the landing roll was completed the crew was cleared to backtrack down Runway 06. As the aircraft was rolling down Runway 06 the crew was completing the after-landing procedures, when suddenly the nose landing gear collapsed. The aircraft was ~400 metres from the threshold of runway 06 at the time and came to an abrupt stop. The aircraft was shut down and passengers and crew were evacuated using a ladder from the front passenger door.
The aircraft in its final position (© Unknown)
Damage to the aircraft was extensive;
Forward fuselage structure
Left-hand and right-hand engine cowling
Nose landing gear.
The INIPAT (Instituto Nacional de Investigação e Prevenção de Acidentes de Transportes - Transportation Safety Board of Angola) was alerted and an investigation was launched. At the time of writing this blog only a preliminary report is available. In this report the probable cause of the accident is not yet confirmed, it is however stated that human factors and operational factors are involved.
The aircraft in its final position (© Hahn Jerkovic) Several sources on the internet state that a spokesperson for the airline reported that the crew inadvertently raised the landing gear by placing the landing gear handle in the up position, using the override mechanism when they wanted to retract the flaps and slats. This is speculation and only the official report by the INIPAT will give the definitive probable cause and any contributing factors to this accident.
The preliminary report (which served as a source for this blog) can be accessed by clicking on the .pdf file below;
** Editorial note **
V2 Aviation - Training & Maintenance has not been able to obtain an investigation report in English on this accident. This blog is therefore based on a translation of the original report and several internet sources. Should there be inconsistencies 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.