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31st of July 1987

A prototype Fokker 100 (Fokker F.28 Mk.100) was scheduled for a test flight, from and to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport on this day in 1987. On board a crew of twelve. There were two test objectives on this flight;

  1. Certification of the thrust reverser system

  2. Measurement of the engine fanblade stresses.

The aircraft in its final position (source © Unknown)

After the necessary ground checks were completed the engines were started and the aircraft taxied to Runway 24 at Schiphol Airport. During the take-off run, the measurement of the engine fanblade stresses was completed, For the certification test of the reverser system, a landing was planned on runway 01R at Schiphol Airport. Therefore a left turn was initiated after take-off to line up the aircraft with runway 01R. The aircraft was configured to the test requirements;

  • Autothrottles - Off

  • Flight Directors - Off

  • Auto-Pilots - Off

  • Lift dumpers -Disarmed

The test would be performed as follows;

  1. The approach would be flown slightly lower as normal to obtain an early touchdown

  2. Touchdown with a speed of ~160 knots

  3. Once the aircraft was on the ground take-off thrust would be set and the required test for certification of the reversers would then be initiated.

The approach and touchdown were completed as planned, although the touchdown was on the left side of the runway. Immediately the thrust levers were forwarded to the required take-off thrust setting. The aircraft accelerated smoothly to ~170 knots. At that time a severe vibration was felt throughout the aircraft for approximately 2 seconds, after which the vibrations disappeared. Immediately the thrust levers were retarded to idle en maximum reverse thrust was selected. The aircraft started to pull to the right-hand side of the runway, full left rudder (which also inputs nose wheel steering) could not correct the direction of the aircraft. Slowly the right wing started to drop and it became evident there was a serious issue with the right-hand main landing gear. As the aircraft decelerated more and more, the right-hand wing tip touched the runway surface at low speed. The aircraft finally came to a stop on the shoulder of the runway.

The aircraft in its final position (source © Unknown) The flight engineer shut both engines down and pulled the fire handles for both engines, isolating them from the aircraft systems. The crew evacuated the aircraft via the passenger door, which was downward opening with integral steps. Although the door did not reach the ground due to the right wing down attitude, this did not impede the evacuation of the aircraft. A shortwhile after the evacuation (there was no post-accident fire), fuel started leaking from the right-hand wing, and the already attending fire brigade covered the aircraft and area with firefighting foam.

The aircraft in its final position (source © Unknown) After an investigation into the reason for the landing gear failure, the landing gear was modified. The aircraft was repaired and continued its test program.

The Fokker accident report (In Dutch) is available, for your reference, by clicking on the file below (Source;

PH-MKH 1987 Gear Failure
Download PDF • 127KB

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