Saturday, 16 November 2019

Hard landing for Virgin Australia ATR

A Virgin Australia ATR 72-212 operating flight VA646 suffered a heavy landing on 10 November 2017 because the crew failed to adhere to standard operating procedures, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau has concluded.

The ATR 72-212, registration VH-FVZ suffered a reasonable amount of damage in the landing and subsequently needed repairs to fuselage sections and drain deflector.  There were three crew members on the flight deck at the time of the incident, a first officer, a captain and a check/training captain who was performing evaluations on the other two crew members during a busy day of flights. 

The first officer was the pilot flying the aircraft at the time of the incident had decided the aircraft was overshooting the desired approach profile, so just under 120 feet above the runway, he reduced engine power to idle, which caused a rapid descent rate.  The captain called for an increase in power twice before increasing power himself. yet this action was too late to stop the rapid descent rate. 

Just prior to touch down, there was a sudden change in wind direction to a tailwind from a headwind further impacted the aircrafts decent rate and the aircraft impacted the runway with a hard landing, recorded at 2.97g.  None of the passengers of crew on the aircraft suffered any injuries during the heavy landing.

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