Accident British Aerospace 3202 Jetstream 32 G-BUVC, Tuesday 3 October 2006
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Date:Tuesday 3 October 2006
Type:Silhouette image of generic JS32 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
British Aerospace 3202 Jetstream 32
Owner/operator:Eastern Airways
Registration: G-BUVC
MSN: 970
Year of manufacture:1992
Total airframe hrs:15497 hours
Cycles:15298 flights
Engine model:Garrett TPE331-12UHR-701H
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 6
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial, repaired
Location:Wick Airport (WIC) -   United Kingdom
Phase: Landing
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Aberdeen-Dyce Airport (ABZ/EGPD)
Destination airport:Wick Airport (WIC/EGPC)
Investigating agency: AAIB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Following a normal turnaround, the Jetstream aircraft departed Aberdeen, Scotland on schedule at 15:45 UTC for the 25 minute flight to Wick. The commander was the Pilot Flying (PF) and the co-pilot, who was also a qualified aircraft commander, was the Pilot Not Flying (PNF).
The flight was conducted under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) at FL85 before the aircraft descended to join the VOR/DME arc procedure for runway 31.
The weather was good with a visibility in excess of 10 km and the lowest cloud recorded at 2,300 ft.
The aircraft descended to the cleared altitude of 2,000 ft on the Wick QNH of 1002 hPa. The airspeed was reduced to 180 kt and the aircraft joined the DME arc at approximately 8 nm in accordance with the procedure. The crew had expected to gain visual contact with the airport early in the approach but were unable to see it due to the cloud. The commander elected to continue with the procedure and at some point on the arc they were able to see the airport.
Just before reaching the 140° VOR radial, airspeed was reduced to 165 kt and 10° flap, was lowered. On passing the 140° radial the aircraft was turned on to a heading of 330° to intercept the Final Approach Track (FAT) of 306°. A target altitude of 1,600 ft was set for when the aircraft became established on the final approach. At approximately 6.5 DME, the descent to 1,600 ft was initiated with the aircraft levelling at about 5.8 DME. Airspeed was reduced and as the aircraft decelerated through 160 kt the PF asked the PNF to lower the landing gear. The PF disconnected the autopilot, reset the yaw damper and continued to fly the approach manually. The PNF selected the gear down.
At the Final Approach Fix (FAF) at 5.5 DME, the PF selected the vertical speed mode of the autopilot and continued the descent. The PNF selected the flaps to 20° in accordance with the normal procedures. The PNF could not recall seeing the three green 'gear locked down' indicating lights but did not normally select the next stage of flap until they were visible. Following these actions the PNF read the landing checklist but the PF did not check the landing gear 'gear locked down' indicating lights as this was not required in the operator's Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). He used the DME/altitude crosscheck table on the approach chart and noted that he was slightly high on the descent profile.
The PF could not see the runway Precision Approach Path Indicator (PAPI) lights and concluded that they were not illuminated. This was confirmed by the PNF although ATC had no record of them not being switched on. The runway was clearly visible and the PF adjusted the approach path visually. At approximately 3 nm from touchdown, the PNF asked the PF if he wanted landing flap selected.
He agreed and landing flap 35° was lowered. The crew recalled that, at about 300 ft the Terrain Awareness and Warning System (TAWS) made a "500 ft" call. The PF checked the barometric and radio altimeters and both indicated approximately 300 ft. Whilst he thought this was strange he concentrated on controlling the aircraft on the final approach.
The aircraft crossed the threshold at the calculated VAPP speed of 130 kt reducing towards VREF for touchdown. The PF flared the aircraft at the normal height, and allowed it to descend towards the runway. At the point the PF expected the aircraft wheels to touchdown, he sensed that he was lower than he should have been. This alarmed him and he glanced down to see that the gear selector handle was in the 'DOWN' position but no red or green indicator lights were illuminated. He immediately initiated a go-around and the PNF called "go-around" and raised the flap to the 10° setting. Neither of the flight crew had heard any audible warnings which should sound if the landing gear is not in the 'down and locked' position.
Witnesses on the ground saw the aircraft in the flare and realised that the landing gear was retracted. They saw a cloud of dust and then the aircraft climb away.
The cabin attendant and the passengers heard a 'scraping' sound but no horn or other audible warnings.
In the climb, the PF instructed the PNF to action the Quick Reference Handbook (QRH) 'EMERGENCY LOWERING OF LANDING GEAR' checklist. This required the use of the hydraulic hand pump. The PNF located the appropriate drill in the QRH and prepared the pump handle for use. At this point the PF considered recycling the landing gear selector handle. He selected the handle 'UP' and heard the noise of the hydraulics which then stopped. None of the red or green landing gear lights illuminated and so he selected the handle to the 'DOWN' position. The three red 'landing gear in transit' lights illuminated followed by the three green, landing gear 'down and locked' indicator lights.
Wick Air Traffic Control (ATC) cleared the aircraft to make a right hand circuit and perform a flight down the line of the runway in order for the controller to conduct a visual check of the landing gear position. He confirmed that the three landing gear were down. The crew then discussed returning to Aberdeen, as there was no engineering support at Wick. Shortly after this a message was passed by ATC from the operator requesting that the crew return the aircraft to Aberdeen providing they had sufficient fuel. At this stage, the crew were unaware that the aircraft had made contact with the runway, or sustained damage. Before departing for Aberdeen, the cabin attendant was briefed by the PNF on the situation. The cabin attendant in turn briefed the passengers that they would be returning to Aberdeen. The cabin attendant did not mention the scraping noise during the flare to the flight crew.
Having determined that sufficient fuel was available for the return flight with the landing gear down and that there was no indication of damage, the crew limited the airspeed to 160 kt and returned to Aberdeen. During the flight, Scottish ATC informed the crew that debris had been found on the runway and a 'PAN' was declared. Prior to landing at Aberdeen the flight crew briefed the cabin attendant that they intended to carry out a normal approach and landing at Aberdeen but to prepare the passengers in case the landing gear collapsed. This was done, but a normal landing was made and the aircraft taxied safely to the parking stand.
The blade tips on the right propeller, aircraft baggage pod and lower rotating beacon were damaged.

Causal factors
The investigation identified the following causal factors:
1. Mechanical wear and arcing across one of the poles in the gear selection switch resulted in a piece of cupric oxide acting as an insulator across the pole which should have energised the gear extension circuit.
2. The flight crew did not identify that the landing gear was not down and locked by visually checking the landing gear green indicator lights.
3. Due to the failures associated with the gear selection switch, the flight crew received no audible warnings of the landing gear not being in the 'DOWN' position.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: AAIB
Report number: AAIB AAR 3/2008
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 4 months
Download report: Final report



photo (c) AAIB; Aberdeen-Dyce Airport (ABZ/EGPD); October 2006

Revision history:


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