Serious incident Airbus A319-133 B-6054, Tuesday 14 September 2010
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Date:Tuesday 14 September 2010
Time:c. 09:45
Type:Silhouette image of generic A319 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Airbus A319-133
Owner/operator:Sichuan Airlines
Registration: B-6054
MSN: 2510
Year of manufacture:2005
Engine model:IAE V2527M-A5
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants:
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: None
Category:Serious incident
Location:Wuxi Airport (WUX/ZSWX) -   China
Phase: Approach
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Chongqing Airport (CKG/ZUCK)
Destination airport:Wuxi Airport (WUX/ZSWX)
Investigating agency: CAAC
Confidence Rating: Information verified through data from accident investigation authorities
Sichuan Airlines Flight 3U-8949 departed Chongqing Airport at 07:45, bound for Wuxi, China. At 08:47, the flight crew received a special report about the presence of a thunderstorm at Wuxi.
The flight crew established contact with Wuxi Tower for the first time at 09:01, reported that the estimated arrival time was 09:34, and received the following information: "Runway 03 ILS, approach via Lishui01, ground wind 040, 03 m/s, temperature 22°C, visibility 2400m, light thunderstorm, light fog, QFE 1013".
During the descent towards Wuxi, the crew asked Wuxi Tower for weather updates four times, and received responses were told that "the terminal area is covered by thunderstorm; forecast says it will turn better by 10am". The controller also reported that some flights had already diverted to Nanjing.
The flight continued to Wuxi and positioned for an ILS approach. At 09:29 there was a strong thunderstorm over the field, together with unsteady winds in direction 340° at 7m/s. The plane intercepted the ILS at 2140 feet. The Auto Pilot was engaged during the approach. The aicraft's speed decreased and attitude increased gradually. When the speed reached 114kt (normal approach speed is 126kt), a Low Energy Warning (SPEED) warning was triggered. The crew used the speed knob of the Flight Control Unit (FCU) and manually selected a target speed of 131kt. Auto Thrust was coming up slowly, but the speed was still decreasing with a deceleration rate of 7kt per second. The Auto Pilot then disconnected automaticall. The angle of attack increased constantly and Alpha Protection function activated. Alpha Floor was activated when the speed indication showed 83kt, thrust was increased to maximum automatically and the crew then selected the thrust levers to TOGA.
A Stall Warning sounded at an indicated airspeed of 81kt, which was decreasing to 74kt.
Meanwhile both pilots were giving side stick inputs simultaneously for as long as 12 seconds.
The plane started to nose down from a maximum Angle of Attack of 33 degrees, rolled to the right. As it descended, it took up speed gradually and the plane recovered from the stall condition. The maximum bank angle to the right reached 43 degrees, the maximum nose down angle was 6 degrees, maximum sink rate was 3924 feet/min. A Glide Slope warning, Pull Up warning, and Sink Rate warning were triggered during the recovery. The lowest altitude was 884 feet before the airplane had recovered.
The plane climbed to 2924 feet and the crew decided to divert to Ningbo Airport, were it landed safely at 10:11.

The Chinese CAAC concluded that the crew lacked proper judgement of the weather conditions and displayed a weak decision-making ability. After the Low Energy warning the crew did not apply Quick Reference Handbook (QRH) procudures. Instead they manually selected a new airspeed, aggravating the situation which led to a stall.
CAAC stated that "the Crew Resource Management was a chaos".

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: CAAC
Report number: 
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report


History of this aircraft

Other occurrences involving this aircraft

5 May 2012 B-6054 Sichuan Airlines 0 Wuhan Tianhe International Airport (WUH/ ZHHH) sub
Bird strike

Revision history:

02-Dec-2013 19:41 harro Added
02-Dec-2013 19:54 Anon. Updated [Narrative]
02-Dec-2013 19:54 harro Updated [Narrative]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

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