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7th of September 2006, Blog #530

With 50014 lbs (22733 kgs) cargo and a crew of three, a Boeing 727-277 took off on this day in 2006 from Accra-Kotoka Airport in Ghana. The destination of the short flight (398 km - 249 miles) was Lagos-Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Nigeria.

The aircraft was unloaded shortly after the accident (© Captain Akinwale Makinde)

After an uneventful take-off and cruise flight at Flight Level (FL) 210 (21.000 feet @ standard altimeter setting), the crew contacted Lagos Area Control at 12.42 lt (local time) and was cleared for the ILS approach to runway 18L at Lagos. The weather at Lagos was just above the minimum for the aircraft to land;

  • Wind 140º / 5 knots

  • Visibility 1000 meter

  • Clouds Scattered 150 meter Few 510 meter Overcast 2400 meter

  • Temp. 22ºC

  • QNH 1014 hPa

  • Trend TEMPO WX: Thunderstorm

The aircraft was cleared to and descended in steps and at 12 nm from the runway, the flight was cleared down to 3500 feet (with a QNH setting of 1013 hPa).

The aircraft after recovery, note the missing nose landing gear, damaged wing leading edge and missing wing tip (© AIB)

At 4 nm from the runway, the aircraft was fully established on the ILS and was handed over to the Tower controller. When they were 2 nm from the runway the aircraft was cleared to land on runway 18L and the crew was cautioned about the wet runway surface. As the clouds were low (only 100 feet above minimum), The captain advised the co-pilot (Pilot Flying) to exercise caution due to the rain and weather. Although the situation warranted the captain to take over the aircraft for landing, the co-pilot was allowed to continue.

Ground track and destroyed localiser antenna (© AIB)

The aircraft touched down about 4680 feet past the runway threshold at a speed that was ~30 knots above the Reference Landing Speed (Vref was 137), the touchdown speed was 167). The captain at that point realised they would not be able to stop on the remaining runway available and called for a go-around. The go-around procedure was not performed in accordance with the prescribed technique in the Aircraft Flight Manual and the aircraft overshot the runway.

It finally came to a stop 400 meters past the runway end after colliding with approach lights and navigation aids on the extended runway centerline.

Damage to the aircraft was so extensive it was written off as damaged beyond repair and was donated to the airport fire and rescue service for training purposes. The damage consisted of;

  • Nose landing gear assembly sheared off The aircraft in April 2009 © Ken Iwelumo

  • Left hand and right hand main wheels damaged

  • Left-wing leading edge devices damaged

  • Left-wing tip sheared off

The Nigerian Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) was alerted and an investigation was launched. In their final report the AIB stated that the Causal Factor for the incident was;

"The decision of the crew to continue an unstabilised approach despite the prevailing adverse weather condition.

Contributory Factors to the accident were;

  • The captain did not take over the control of the flight from the first officer in the known bad weather situation.

  • The crew resource management was inadequate.

Damaged localiser antenna (© AIB)

Several safety recommendations were also made in the report. The investigation report, on which this blog is based, is available for the readers' reference by clicking on the .pdf file below.

B727 Runway Excursion 7-Sep-2006
Download PDF • 1.72MB

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