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AT45, Sienajoki Finland, 2006

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Summary
On 11 December 2006, a Finnish Commuter Airlines ATR 42-500 veered off the runway on landing at Seinäjoki, Finland.
Event Details
When December 2006
Actual or Potential
Event Type
Human Factors, Runway Excursion
Day/Night Night
Flight Conditions On Ground - Normal Visibility
Flight Details
Aircraft ATR ATR-42-500
Operator Finnish Commuter Airlines
Domicile Finland
Type of Flight Public Transport (Passenger)
Origin Helsinki/Vantaa
Intended Destination Seinäjoki
Take off Commenced Yes
Flight Airborne Yes
Flight Completed Yes
Flight Phase Landing
LDG
Location - Airport
Airport Seinäjoki
General
Tag(s) Event reporting non compliant
HF
Tag(s) Distraction,
Ineffective Monitoring,
Manual Handling,
Procedural non compliance,
Inappropriate crew response - skills deficiency
RE
Tag(s) Overrun on Landing,
Directional Control,
Significant Tailwind Component,
Significant Crosswind Component
Outcome
Damage or injury Yes
Aircraft damage Minor
Non-aircraft damage Yes
Injuries None"None" is not in the list (Few occupants, Many occupants, Most or all occupants) of allowed values for the "Injuries" property.
Fatalities None"None" is not in the list (Few occupants, Many occupants, Most or all occupants) of allowed values for the "Fatalities" property. ()
Causal Factor Group(s)
Group(s) Aircraft Operation
Safety Recommendation(s)
Group(s) Aircraft Airworthiness
Investigation Type
Type Independent

Description

On 11 December 2006, a Finnish Commuter Airlines ATR 42-500 veered off the runway on landing at Seinäjoki, Finland.

Synopsis

The following is an extract from the Summary of the official Investigation Report published by the Accident Investigation Board Finland (AIBF):

"…on 11 December a Finnish Commuter Airlines’ ATR-42, on its scheduled route from Helsinki to Kokkola with a stopover at Seinäjoki, was approaching Seinäjoki runway 32 in gusty crosswinds at dark. According to ATIS information wind was 180 degrees 12 knots, maximum 22 knots. When the aircraft called Outer Marker (PSJ) inbound the AFIS officer reported the previous two minutes’ average wind: 190 degrees 10 kts18.52 km/h
5.14 m/s
, maximum 16. Because this wind information did not exceed the limitations of the flight manual the captain decided to land on runway 32. Halfway through the landing roll the aircraft suddenly and strongly veered to the left. Despite the flight crew’s best efforts at approximately 700 m from threshold the aircraft veered off the 30 m wide runway. The left main landing gear travelled approximately 115 m at ca. 2 m from the edge of the paved surface on the 2.5 m wide sand/gravel runway shoulder, leaving a few centimetres-deep rut in the gravel. The landing gear hit and destroyed two runway edge lights and its anti skid wiring was cut. The captain managed to steer the aircraft back onto the runway, whereafter he taxied to the apron. After the damage to the aircraft was inspected the following leg of the flight was cancelled…

The investigation established that the aircraft had no such defect that could have caused the occurrence. At the time of the incident the weather was cloudy and humid. Winds were southerly and gusty. The runway was wet, albeit with good braking action. A chain of events with several interrelated factors caused the aircraft to veer off the runway. These factors included:

  • The decision to make a downwind landing,
  • A strong gust of wind from the left, approximately halfway through the landing roll, which caused the aircraft to unexpectedly bear to the left,
  • The wetness of the runway, which allowed the aircraft to skid sideways,
  • The runway was not wide enough for the flight crew to steer the aircraft back toward the runway centreline,
  • The pilot attempted to straighten out the aircraft by using the rudder. However, as speed decreased the rudder effect alone was insufficient,
  • The captain did not hear the co-pilot call ”70” and, hence, engaged the nose wheel steering too late, and
  • The captain’s limited experience as pilot-in-command of an ATR."

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Further Reading

For further information see the full accident report published by the AIBF.