independent

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Landing crash plane 'was too fast'

A plane scraped along the runway at Shannon airport

Pilot inexperience and excessive speed have been blamed for a passenger plane veering out of control for more than a kilometre during landing at one of Ireland's busiest airports.

There were 21 passengers and four crew on the Aer Arann Manchester to Shannon service when its nose wheel collapsed, controls jammed and it left the runway on July 17 2011.

An investigation has found the plane scraped along the ground at Shannon for 1,200 metres before finally coming to a halt on a grass verge, as crew lost control during a second attempt to land. Smoke or steam could be seen billowing from the front of the 17-year-old aircraft while its left propeller crashed through and demolished a sign on the runway.

While there were no injuries reported, the aircraft was so damaged it was not worth repairing.

The Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) report found the plane approached the runway on both occasions in excess of the recommended speeds.

The then newly-promoted 29-year-old female pilot was a "relatively inexperienced" captain in handling the aircraft in limiting conditions, according to the investigation.

Investigators said this inexperience was a contributory factor in the accident, along with inadequate information being provided to both her and her 37-year-old female co-pilot about landing in crosswinds.

There was significant turbulence at the time.

The likely cause of the incident was excessive speed and inadequate control of the aircraft during the blustery conditions, it was found.

The AAIU has ordered Aer Arann to review its training of pilots in landing aircraft in crosswinds as a result.

Press Association

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