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Non Revenue Flights

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Category: General General
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Definition

Flights which are conducted for non revenue purposes such as:

Description

Non Revenue Flights have often been identified as attracting a greater risk of an accident or serious incident than the revenue flights which form the main business of any operator of commercial aircraft. In many respects, the causes of increased risk for this type of flight are similar to those which have been associated with a slightly wider sub group of flights - Non Standard Flights.


Accident & Incident Reports

A selection of accidents and events which have occurred on non-revenue flights:

  • 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 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.)
  • A320, vicinity Tallinn Estonia, 2018 (On 28 February 2018, an Airbus A320 would not rotate for a touch-and-go takeoff and flightpath control remained temporarily problematic and the aircraft briefly settled back onto the runway with the gear in transit damaging both engines. A very steep climb was then followed by an equally steep descent to 600 feet agl with an EGPWS ‘PULL UP’ activation before recovery. Pitch control was regained using manual stabiliser trim but after both engines stopped during a MAYDAY turnback, an undershoot touchdown followed. The root cause of loss of primary pitch control was determined as unapproved oil in the stabiliser actuator.)
  • 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.)
  • AN72, Sao Tome, Sao Tome & Principe, 2017 (On 29 July 2017, an Antonov AN-74 crew sighted several previously unseen large “eagles” rising from the long grass next to the runway as they accelerated for takeoff at Sao Tome and, concerned about the risk of ingestion, made a high speed rejected takeoff but were unable to stop on the runway and entered a deep ravine just beyond it which destroyed the aircraft. The Investigation found that the reject had been unnecessarily delayed until above V1, that the crew forgot to deploy the spoilers which would have significantly increased the stopping distance and that relevant crew training was inadequate.)

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