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8th of June 2013

An Airbus A320-232 was operating a scheduled passenger flight from Bucharest (Romania) to Rome (Italy) with a crew of 6 and 165 passengers The aircraft had departed Bucharest at approximately 06.45 lt.

The aircraft in its final position on the runway after sliding on the left engine for ~1200 meters (Source; ©ANSV)

After an uneventful flight, the aircraft was approaching runway 15 at Rome Ciampino Airport when the crew, as per Standard Operating Procedure, configured the aircraft for landing and selected the gear down. Instead of getting 3 greens (indicating all three landing gears were down and locked) the crew had two greens, the left main landing main landing gear had not locked in the down position. An ECAM (Electronic Centralized Aircraft Monitoring) message was presented, together with a Master Warning, The ECAM indicated "L/G GEAR NOT DOWNLOCKED". A missed approach was flown and the aircraft was vectored to an area north of Rome, where, at an altitude of 5000 feet the aircraft entered an holding pattern allowing the crew to trouble shoot the issue. In accordance with the procedures presented to the crew on the ECAM, the crew attempted to get the left gear to extend, an gravity gear extension and g-force manoeuvres were performed. All to no avail, the left hand main landing gear did not extend. At this time the crew decided to Rome Fiumicino as it had a longer runway.s. 35 minutes after aborting the approach to Rome Ciampino the aircraft was vectored for a flyover of runway 34R at Fiumicino to have the situation assessed from the ground, this confirmed the left main landing gear was not extended.

The left main landing gear resting on the partially opened main landing gear bay door (Source; ©ANSV)

The crew climbed the aircraft to 2000 feet and positioned for another approach for runway 34R. At 08.09 local time the aircraf touched down on the right main landing gear, with the crew keeping the left wing up as long as possible, When the speed dropped and the lift disapated the left engine settled on the runway and came to a skidding stop after ~1200 meters, resting on the rear fuselage the left engine and the right hand main landing gear..

An evacuation was initiated, three of the occupants received minor injuries during in the evacuation.

The aircraft in its final position on the runway (Source; ©APA/EPA)

After an investigation in to the accident an Emergency Airworthiness Directive. It was reported slow operation of the main landing gear (MLG) door opening/closing sequence, leading to the generation of ECAM warnings during the landing gear retraction or extension sequence. Investigations showed that the damping ring and associated retaining ring of the MLG door actuator deteriorate. The resultant debris increases the friction inside the actuator which can be sufficiently high to restrict opening of the MLG door by gravity, during operation of the landing gear alternate (free-fall) extension system. This condition, if not corrected, could prevent the full extension and/or down locking of the MLG, possibly resulting in MLG collapse during landing or rollout and consequent damage to the aeroplane and injury to occupants.

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