Accident ATR 72-202 D-ANFE, Thursday 4 December 2014
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Date:Thursday 4 December 2014
Type:Silhouette image of generic AT72 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
ATR 72-202
Owner/operator:Avanti Air, opf Darwin Airline
Registration: D-ANFE
MSN: 272
Year of manufacture:1992
Engine model:Pratt & Whitney Canada PW124B
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 30
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial, repaired
Location:Zürich-Kloten Airport (ZRH) -   Switzerland
Phase: Landing
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Dresden Airport (DRS/EDDC)
Destination airport:Zürich-Kloten Airport (ZRH/LSZH)
Investigating agency: STSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
At 06:33 local time on 4 December 2014, an ATR 72-202, registration D-ANFE, took off from Dresden Airport, Germany on a scheduled flight to Zurich, Switzerland (LSZH).
As the result of a fault, during the cruising flight the air conditioning system unit 1 had to be reset once; thereafter it functioned normally for the remainder of the flight.
After an uneventful descent and approach, D-ANFE touched down normally at 08:02 on runway 14 at Zurich Airport in a light northerly wind. According to the flight crew's statements, the touchdown of the main landing gear and the nose landing gear occurred normally.
After the nose landing gear wheels had come into contact with the runway approximately 1050 m after the runway threshold, the tyre of the right nose landing gear wheel separated from the nose landing gear during landing roll. The nose landing gear continued to slide on the wheel rims approximately 470 m after nosewheel touchdown. The commander later stated that shortly before reaching intersection H1 he had noticed that the steering was not functioning correctly.
At 08:04:12 the copilot then reported the following to the air traffic controller (ATCO) in the aerodrome control tower (TWR): "Darwin two eight six uh we have a problem, we're on the runway trying to vacate." He also requested the ATCO to summon the fire brigade because he suspected hot brakes.
Steering was then performed by the flight crew by means of asymmetrical power setting of the two engines and by asymmetrical braking of the main landing gear wheels. The ATCO then instructed the crew to vacate the runway, if possible via intersection H1. This was also the flight crew's intention, since the vibrations increased during landing roll.
The two flight attendants later stated that after touchdown the aircraft had deviated somewhat to the right and the landing roll-out felt as if the runway was very bumpy.
The aircraft was brought to a standstill shortly afterwards at the Category (CAT) 1 stop bar on taxiway (TWY) H1. The fire-brigade arrived shortly afterwards at the aircraft and examined the brakes for overheating.
Once the aircraft had come to a standstill, the copilot asked the ATCO for a runway inspection of runway 14 to be performed, since he suspected there had been problems with the tyres and consequently damage to the runway. The runway inspection was undertaken immediately; a tyre from the nose landing gear of D-ANFE was found on the centre line of runway 14 approximately 2080 m from the runway threshold. In addition, abrasion marks were found; however, these were not assessed as restrictive for the continued operation of runway 14.

The accident is attributable to the fact that during landing the nose landing gear was not centred and so the two nose gear wheels could not turn freely. Subsequently it was no longer possible to exercise control via the nose landing gear steering system, as the nose landing gear was substantially damaged.
The interaction of the following factors was determined as the most probable cause of the accident:
- a valve input lever of the differential control selector valve which had been fitted to the nose landing gear in an inverted state (rotated through 180°);
- inadequate maintenance of the nose landing gear.
The fact that the valve input lever can be attached incorrectly, in an inverted state (rotated through 180°) as a result of its structural design was determined to be a contributing factor.
Though the small parts of the aircraft found on the runway during a runway inspection performed hours later did not contribute to the origin and history of the accident, they nevertheless constitute a factor to risk


06:50 UTC / 07:50 local time:
LSZH 040650Z VRB02KT 7000 BKN006 03/02 Q1013 NOSIG

07:20 UTC / 08:20 local time:
LSZH 040720Z VRB02KT 7000 BKN006 03/02 Q1013 NOSIG

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: STSB
Report number: No. 2303
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 years and 5 months
Download report: Final report



Revision history:


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