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Accident and Serious Incident Reports: Non-Revenue Flights

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Article Information
Category: Accidents and Serious Incidents Accidents and Serious Incidents
Content source: SKYbrary About SKYbrary
Content control: EUROCONTROL EUROCONTROL

Definition

A selection of reports relating to accidents and serious incidents which involved non-revenue flights including for example:

  • Ferry or Positioning Flights
  • Function flights operated by line crews
  • Air display or 'exhibition' flying
  • Flights undertaken solely for crew training/familiarisation purposes

Accidents

  • A139 / A30B, Ottawa Canada, 2014 (On 5 June 2014, an AW139 about to depart from its Ottawa home base on a positioning flight exceeded its clearance limit and began to hover taxi towards the main runway as an A300 was about to touch down on it. The TWR controller immediately instructed the helicopter to stop which it did, just clear of the runway. The A300 reached taxi speed just prior to the intersection. The Investigation attributed the error to a combination of distraction and expectancy and noted that the AW139 pilot had not checked actual or imminent runway occupancy prior to passing his clearance limit.)
  • A320, vicinity Dublin Ireland, 2015 (On 3 October 2015, an Airbus A320 which had just taken off from Dublin experienced fumes from the air conditioning system in both flight deck and cabin. A 'PAN' was declared and the aircraft returned with both pilots making precautionary use of their oxygen masks. The Investigation found that routine engine pressure washes carried out prior to departure have been incorrectly performed and a contaminant was introduced into the bleed air supply to the air conditioning system as a result. The context for the error was found to be the absence of any engine wash procedure training for the Operator's engineers.)
  • A320, vicinity Perpignan France, 2008 (On 27 November 2008, the crew of an XL Airways A320 on an airworthiness function flight following aircraft repainting lost control of the aircraft after fail to take the action necessary to recover from a full stall which had resulted from their continued airspeed reduction during a low speed handling test when Stall Protection System (SPS) activation did nor occur at the likely airspeed because two of the three angle of attack sensors were blocked by ice formed by water ingress during preparation for the repainting. This condition rendered angle of attack protection in normal law inoperative.)
  • A343 / RJ1H, Copenhagen Denmark, 2016 (On 26 December 2016, the wing of an Airbus A340-300 being repositioned by towing at Copenhagen as cleared hit an Avro RJ100 which had stopped short of its stand when taxiing due to the absence of the expected ground crew. The RJ100 had been there for twelve minutes at the time of the collision. The Investigation attributed the collision to differing expectations of the tug driver, the Apron controller and the RJ100 flight crew within an overall context of complacency on the part of the tug driver whilst carrying out what would have been regarded as a routine, non-stressful task.)
  • AS32 / B734, Aberdeen UK, 2000 (For reasons that were not established, a Super Puma helicopter being air tested and in the hover at about 30 feet agl near the active runway at Aberdeen assumed that the departure clearance given by GND was a take off clearance and moved into the hover over the opposite end of the runway at the same time as a Boeing 737 was taking off. The 737 saw the helicopter ahead and made a high speed rejected take off, stopping approximately 100 metres before reaching the position of the helicopter which had by then moved off the runway still hovering.)
  • AS3B, en-route, northern North Sea UK, 2008 (On 22 February 2008, a Eurocopter AS332 L2 Super Puma flying from an offshore oil platform to Aberdeen was struck by lightning. There was no apparent consequence and so, although this event required a landing as soon as possible, the commander decided to continue the remaining 165nm to the planned destination which was achieved uneventfully. Main rotor blade damage including some beyond repairable limits was subsequently discovered. The Investigation noted evidence indicating that this helicopter type had a relatively high propensity to sustain lightning strikes but noted that, despite the risk of damage, there was currently no adverse safety trend.)
  • AS3B, vicinity Den Helder Netherlands, 2006 (On 21 November 2006, the crew of a Bristow Eurocopter AS332 L2 making an unscheduled passenger flight from an offshore platform to Den Helder in night VMC decided to ditch their aircraft after apparent malfunction of an engine and the flight controls were perceived as rendering it unable to safely complete the flight. All 17 occupants survived but the evacuation was disorganised and both oversight of the operation by and the actions of the crew were considered to have been inappropriate in various respects. Despite extensive investigation, no technical fault which would have rendered it unflyable could be confirmed.)
  • AS55, vicinity Fairview Alberta Canada, 1999 (On 28th April 1999, an AS-355 helicopter suffered an in-flight fire attributed to an electrical fault which had originated from a prior maintenance error undetected during incomplete pre-flight inspections. The aircraft carried out an immediate landing allowing evacuation before the aircraft was destroyed by an intense fire.)
  • AT45, vicinity Prague Czech Republic, 2012 (On 31 October 2012, the crew of an ATR42 on a handover airworthiness function flight out of Prague briefly lost control in a full stall with significant wing drop after continuing a prescribed Stall Protection System (SPS) test below the appropriate speed and then failing to follow the correct stall recovery procedure. Failure of the attempted SPS test was subsequently attributed to both AOA vanes having become contaminated with water during earlier aircraft repainting at a specialist contractor and consequently being constrained in a constant position whilst the SPS test was being conducted at well above the prevailing freezing level.)
  • AT72, en-route, southern Scotland UK, 2011 (On 15 March 2011, an ATR 72-200 on a non revenue positioning flight from Edinburgh to Paris CDG in night VMC with just the two pilots on board began to experience roll and directional control difficulties as the aircraft accelerated upon reaching the planned cruise altitude of FL230. A ‘PAN’ call was made to ATC and a return to Edinburgh was made with successful containment of the malfunctioning flying controls.)
  • B190, vicinity Bebi south eastern Nigeria, 2008 (On 15 March 2008, a Beech 1900D on a non-revenue positioning flight to a private airstrip in mountainous terrain flown by an inadequately-briefed crew without sufficient guidance or previous relevant experience impacted terrain under power whilst trying to locate the destination visually after failing to respond to a series of GPWS Alerts and a final PULL UP Warning. Whilst attributing the accident to the crew, the Investigation also found a range of contributory deficiencies in respect of the Operator, official charting and ATS provision and additional deficiencies in the conduct of the unsuccessful SAR activity after the aircraft became overdue.)
  • B722 / BE10, Atlanta GA USA, 1990 (On 18 January 1990, a Boeing 727-200 landing at Atlanta at night and in good visibility in accordance with an unconditional clearance failed to see that a Beechcraft King Air, which had landed ahead of it, had yet to clear the runway. The 727 was unable to avoid a collision after a late sighting. The 727 sustained substantial damage and the King Air was destroyed. The Investigation attributed the collision to a combination of the failure of the runway controller to detect the lack of separation resulting from their issue of multiple landing clearances and the inadequacy of relevant ATC procedures.)

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For all accident reports held on SKYbrary, see the main section on Accident Reports.