Accident Airbus A330-203 F-GZCB, Wednesday 13 April 2011
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Date:Wednesday 13 April 2011
Type:Silhouette image of generic A332 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Airbus A330-203
Owner/operator:Air France
Registration: F-GZCB
MSN: 443
Year of manufacture:2001
Engine model:General Electric CF6-80E1A3
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 215
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial, repaired
Location:Caracas-Simón Bolívar International Airport (CCS) -   Venezuela
Phase: Landing
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG/LFPG)
Destination airport:Caracas-Simón Bolívar International Airport (CCS/SVMI)
Investigating agency: BEA
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
An Airbus A330-203 sustained substantial damage in a hard landing accident at Caracas-Simón Bolívar International Airport (CCS), Venezuela. There were no injuries among the 202 passengers and 13 crew members.
Flight 470 took off from Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) at 08:55 UTC on a regular service to Caracas, Venezuela. The en route part of the flight was uneventful. Weather at the destination was poor due to the presence of several thunderstorms and rain. The captain was pilot flying during the ILS approach to runway 10 at Caracas.
The airplane was aligned with the localizer at 10 NM from the threshold and the glideslope was intercepted at 6 NM. The crew selected a Vapp approach speed of 136 kts and moments later disconnected the autopilot and autothrottle. Passing 1000 feet above aerodrome level the crew was able to observe the runway. Descent rate at the time was -950 feet per minute and the airplane had rolled 3° to the right at an airspeed of 153 kt (Vapp + 17 kt). Shortly before passing 500 feet the captain had to correct some deviations, causing roll angles reaching 9°. At 200 feet the airplane was above the glide path and the pilot monitoring reported that the airspeed increased from 138 kt to 153 kt. The airspeed decreased again to below 136 kts with the GPWS warning "Sink Rate!" at 35 feet.
The airplane touched down at 2,74 G with a descent rate of -1200 ft/min.
Flight 470 taxied to the terminal without any problems. The captain reported the hard landing in the Aircraft Technical Log and reported it to the station manager at Caracas. One Air France technician performed a walk around check in very heavy rain and low light conditions. The Aircraft Condition Monitoring System (ACMS) did not generate an automated 'hard landing' report, and no report was received at the company's Maintenance Control Center (MCC). The Data Management Unit (DMU), part of the ACMS was checked and it was concluded that there was no defect. Consequently, the airplane was released for the return flight to Paris.
Upon takeoff from Caracas at 18:30 local time, the crew were not able to raise the undercarriage. Several alarms related to cabin conditioning were triggered and displayed on the ECAM. After burning off fuel the crew landed safely back at Caracas. After parking, significant damage was found on the right hand main landing gear and fuselage structure.

The hard landing is due to the continuation of the landing while the flight path changes should have lead to a go-around. The workload generated by flying without the assistance of A/THR, in degraded weather conditions is a contributing factor.
The hard landing caused the implosion of the fixed piston of the damper of the right hand landing gear, which was not detectable on the ground at the stopover. This made it impossible to retract the landing gear during the return flight.
The use of inadequate technical notes, the operator into force the day of the event and the lack of issuance of report R15 did not detect the damage caused by the hard landing. This has led to the departure of a commercial flight with a badly damaged aircraft.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: BEA
Report number: f-cb110413
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 years and 5 months
Download report: Final report


History of this aircraft

Other occurrences involving this aircraft

20 July 2023 F-GZCB Air France 0 Lome Airport (LFW/DXXX) min


Revision history:


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