Tag Archives: accident


Medevac Learjet skids off runway at Halim Airport

Last night, amidst rain storms that covered Jakarta, a Nusantara Air Charter Learjet 31 registered PK-JKI slid off the runway at Halim Perdanakusuma International Airpot (HLP/WIHH) in Jakarta at 1946 local time (1246Z). As a result, the airport was closed for almost 3 hours, causing disruptions to scheduled flights. Inbound flights that were immediately affected were:

  1. QG812 SUBHLP PK-GQM dvt CGK
  2. ID7108 PDGHLP PK-LBW dvt CGK
  3. ID7538 JOGHLP PK-LBZ dvt CGK
  4. ID7516 SUBHLP PK-LUF dvt CGK

Some passengers were bused to Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (CGK/WIII) in order to catch flights from there while waiting for the runway to reopen.

PK-JKI at Halim Airport in its earlier days

PK-JKI was operating a medical evacuation flight from Yogyakarta Adi Sucipto Airport (JOG/WAHH), and arrived in Jakarta area about 1 hour after rainstorms occurred. Various flights operated into Halim Airport on the ILS runway 24. The Learjet 31 slid off the right-hand side of the runway and rested on the grass between taxiways Bravo and Charlie. The weather conditions at the time was 1000m visibility with winds at 8-13 knots (direction not reported).

PK-JKI position early this morning

According to early reports, the aircraft contacted Halim at 1233Z, and commenced approach for ILS24 at 1244Z following a Batik Air 737 a few minutes ahead of it, and the weather information were relayed to the crew. At 1246Z the aircraft slid and the crew made a radio transmission just prior to skidding (likely inadvertently). The crash alert was immediately activated and fire and rescue as well as ambulances were immediately on scene. 7 persons were on board and were evacuated safely.

One of the NOTAMs issued last night regarding the accident:

A2905/16 NOTAMN
Q) WIIF/QMRLC/IV/NBO/A/000/999/0616S10653E005
A) WIHH B) 1609251310 C) 1609251355
CREATED: 25 Sep 2016 13:10:00

This was later extended to 1545UTC in a follow up NOTAM.

Prior to removal this morning.
Damage to left wing suggest a ground contact at some stage near the landing.

The aircraft was severely damaged with the right main landing gear absent from its position. The right-hand engine is also dislodged from its normal position. The most baffling is the damage to the left wing. How the aircraft bent the left wing and losing its right main landing gear, is something for the investigators to find out.

© YTN (click for original)

UPS MD-11 runway excursion at Seoul Incheon

An MD-11F registered N277UP operating UPS flight 5X61 overshot the runway 33L at Seoul Incheon (ICN/RKSI) airport on 6 June after aborting its take-off run at high speed. Aircraft came to rest beside the 15R approach lights with its nosewheel collapsed and engines damaged. The aircraft is reported to have struck the ILS Localizer antenna as well as several runway lights. All 4 crew members onboard evacuated by using the slide on the front left door. Cause of take-off rejection is unknown.

© YTN (click image for original)
© YTN (click image for original)

NOTAM for the runway closure due to accident.

Q) RKRR/QMRLC/IV/NBO/A/000/999/3727N12626E005
A) RKSI B) 1606061418 C) 1609061417
CREATED: 06 Jun 2016 14:19:00

© YTN (click for original)
© YTN (click for original)

Runway 15R Approach lights affected, causing the following NOTAM:

A0856/16 NOTAMN
Q) RKRR/QLAAS/IV/NBO/A/000/999/3728N12626E005
A) RKSI B) 1606061814 C) 1606131500
CREATED: 06 Jun 2016 18:15:00

ILS is affected for 15R/33L causing the following NOTAM:

Q) RKRR/QICAS/I/NBO/A/000/999/3728N12626E005
A) RKSI B) 1606061429 C) 1608051500
CREATED: 06 Jun 2016 14:30:00

The weather for the airport at the time of the accident showed nothing of concern too.

METAR RKSI 061400Z 36002KT 9000 SCT040 BKN120 20/14 Q1012 NOSIG=
METAR RKSI 061430Z 28003KT 250V320 9000 SCT040 BKN120 20/14 Q1012 NOSIG=



MS804: Claims of 3 emergencies versus the facts!

Having spent a week away from dealing with the MS804 crash, I was quite shocked to return finding new allegations that the aircraft has had 3 emergencies within 24 hours of the accident. Much to my dismay, one reputable newspaper wrote about this allegation:

The doomed EgyptAir plane that plunged into the Mediterranean last month with the loss of 66 lives was forced three times to turn around after taking off and return to three different airports in the 24 hours preceding the crash, reports say.

The Airbus A320’s warning systems signalled anomalies on board three times during the plane’s six rotations – between Asmara in Eritrea, Cairo, and Tunis – in the 24 hours before it disappeared on its final flight, according to French media.

But each time when it returned to the airport it had just taken off from, it was quickly allowed to leave again after inspectors carried out a technical audit and found nothing amiss, the reports said.

I find it unbelievable that this information would have been missed by the hundreds if not thousands of airplane geeks around the world looking into this accident. Let’s not forget that there is evidence of the aircraft’s movements. Had it suffered 3 anomalies requiring the aircraft to return to the airport it had just departed from, we would have seen a pattern of delays within the records.

The Evidence
Screenshot of the aircraft’s recorded movements at Flightradar24

If we see the evidence above, in the last 24 hours of the aircraft’s life, it suffered no or little delays. In one occasion, it even landed early. This is inconsistent with allegations of three RTBs (return-to-base). This isn’t secret evidence, this is publicly available information that doesn’t require a lot of brainpower to churn through and make a conclusion that the allegation is false. However, if you insist on an official version, well, here goes:

“For me it is not true,” Safwat Musallam said on the sidelines of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) annual meeting in Dublin.

It seems that this latest allegation is just another in a string of attempts to paint a bad light on the Egyptians. I personally don’t care whether the Egyptian authorities are to be trusted or not, but independent data exist, and even if one does not trust the Egyptian (as many would tell you they would tell lies in a desperate bid to save their tourism industry) one must give credit where it’s due. As for the Egyptair chairman, Safwat Mussalam, I doubt he’s lying in this instance.


Super Puma grounded as gearbox failure haunts the fleet again

The helicopter community was shocked once again at the end of April with the crash of a CHC Super Puma just off Bergen in Norway. The Norwegian accident investigation board surprised us all again this week by releasing a second preliminary report on the accident, which not only made many in the industry saying, “not again,” but also resulted in some drastic action throughout the world. The report is as follows:


This preliminary report is published to disseminate new and significant findings from the on-going metallurgical examinations. The report contains one safety recommendation to the European Safety Agency (EASA).

Reference is made to the AIBN preliminary report dated 13 May 2016, which was updated on 27 May (ref. Preliminary Report 27.05.2016). At that time, the AIBN considered three possible failure scenarios: Failure of epicyclic module, suspension bar (lift strut) attachment and MGB conical housing

Metallurgical Examinations Detailed metallurgical examinations have been ongoing since 19 May. Several parts from the second stage epicyclic module were retrieved from the accident site. The epicyclic module planet gears are designed as a combined gear and bearing assembly. Figure 1 shows one of eight second stage planet gears.

Secon stage planet gear as found with three rollers missing #chc #superpuma #helicoptercrash #bergen #aibn

A photo posted by Oil and Gas People (@oilandgaspeople) on


Planet gears have a double function, acting as a gear on the outside while at the same time functioning as the outer race of a roller bearing on the inside. In order to improve wear resistance it has been given a hard outer surface through a carburization process.

Among the recovered parts were two pieces which together form approximately half a second stage planet gear. Examinations of these parts have revealed features strongly consistent with fatigue. The fatigue appears to have its origin in the outer race of the bearing (inside of the gear), propagating towards the web of the gear teeth. There is sign of spalling in front of the fracture surface.

Although preliminary, the AIBN considers these findings to be of such significance that it has decided to issue the following safety recommendation to ensure the continuing airworthiness of the Main Gear Box (MGB).

Safety Recommendation

Recent metallurgical findings have revealed features strongly consistent with fatigue in the outer race of a second stage planet gear in the epicyclic module of the MGB. It cannot be ruled out that this signifies a possible safety issue that can affect other MGBs of the same type. The nature of the catastrophic failure of the LN-OJF main rotor system indicates that the current means to detect a failure in advance are not effective.

The AIBN therefore recommends that EASA take immediate action to ensure the safety of the Airbus Helicopters H225 Main Gear Box. The investigation is ongoing and updates will follow.

The Accident Investigation Board Norway Lillestrøm, 1 June 2016

Accidents caused by gearbox failure isn’t unique to the Super Puma, but to have this information eerily similar to the Bond helicopter crash in the North Sea in 2009, which was also caused by a similar gearbox failure followed by main rotor separation, is disturbing, and main rotor separation, is everyone’s nightmare when it comes to helicopters.

Drastic but Required Action

As a result of this report, EASA have issued an emergency airworthiness directive grounding all AS332 from conducting passenger service, pending further investigation into the accident and the determination of the root cause of the gearbox damage. Note that AS332 L2 and EC225 LP flights conducted by the military, customs, police, search and rescue, firefighting, coastguard or similar activities or services, may continue and are exempted from the Emergency AD.

The Emergency AD will have massive implications to the oil and gas industry worldwide as the Super Puma family forms a significant part of the industry’s workhorse fleet. Some are already calling for a redesign of the Super Puma gearbox, but whether or not that is the right thing to do at the moment is academic as we wait for the investigation to provide more information.


MS804 Synopsis 21May2016 0001Z

My Airliners.net colleague, Mr. FlyingTurtle is always kind enough to post periodic synopsis of accidents in order to keep discussions there not going too far astray. He has given permission for the synopsis to be put on the GerryAirways website.

  1. 66 people were on board. None of the people on the manifest were on a terrorism watchlist.
  2. Leaked passenger list: According to a leaked passenger list, only very few of the passengers have a non-Arabic name. A leaked passenger list can be found on a anti-Muslim website http://www.shoebat.com
  3. Strangely, the plane mentioned on the leaked crew list is SUGBZ, but at least two confirmed victims (among them, French photographer Pascal Hess) do appear on the passenger list.
  4. Earlier that day, SU-GCC flew to Asmara (Eritrea) and Tunis, returning to Cairo each time.
  5. According to BBC, no terrorist organization has credibly claimed responsibility.
Flight History
  1. Flight entered Athens FIR at 2:24 AM. Last successful communication was at 2:48, the flight was cleared to the exit of Athens FIR. “The pilot was jocund and thanked in Greek.”
  2. Several ACARS messages beginning at 3:26 AM:
    – 00:26Z 3044 ANTI ICE R WINDOW
    – 00:26Z 561200 R SLIDING WINDOW SENSOR
    – 00:26Z 2600 SMOKE LAVATORY SMOKE
  3. At 3:27, Athens Area Control Center (ACC) tried to communicate with the flight, to hand it over to the Cairo FIR. Repeated calls, also on the emergency frequency, went without any response. At the same time, 0:27Z, there was the “2600 AVIONICS SMOKE ACARS” message.
  4. ACARS message:
    – 00:28Z 561100 R FIXED WINDOW SENSOR
  5. The flight passed the FIR boundary at 3:29 AM. At the same time, these ACARS messages were sent:
    – 00:29Z 2200 AUTO FLT FCU 2 FAULT
    – 00:29Z 2700 F/CTL SEC 3 FAULT
    – After those, no more ACARS messages were received.
  6. At 3:29:40 AM, the flight was lost from ATC radar, almost 7 nm southeast of KUMBI (KUMBI lies on the FIR boundary). The civilian ATC radar track shows that the plane never departed FL370.
  7. The Greek Air Force was called, they were unable to track the plane with their radars (as it had already crashed at this time).
  8. Supposedly, the Greek Air Force’s primary radars did record the plane’s flight. “It turned 90 degrees left and then a 360-degree turn toward the right, dropping from 37,000 to 15,000 feet and then it was lost at about 10,000 feet.” (Paul Kammenos, Greek minister of defense)
  1. First debris spotted at around noon of May 20th, about 290 km north of Alexandria. Among the first objects found are seats, luggage and body parts.
  2. Possible oil slick photographed by the European Space Agency’s Sentinel satellite.
Possible Explanations
  1. The crew did not respond to repeated calls by Athens ACC, yet the flight didn’t disappear from radar until a few minutes later. This suggests the crew was either incapacitated or unable to respond due to an emergency.
  2. The time span between the attempted calls by Athens ACC and the disappearance rules out an explosive event that would have totally crippled the plane.
  3. An on-board fire.
What can be reasonably ruled out?
  1. A struggle in the cockpit, including a hijacking.
  2. A bomb that led to a decompression (though not an incendiary device).
  3. Helios-type of accident (crew incapacitation due to asphyxiation) is improbable, as the plane would have simply continued the flight.

The synopsis is posted for readers to be able to keep track of developments on the accident, and be up to date with regards to discussions flows among serious enthusiasts and knowledge-sharing professionals.


UPDATE: MS804 Turns and Descent Maybe Due To Smoke Removal Attempts

Information begin to surface on MS804’s aircraft automated messages (ACARS) containing aircraft warnings, faults, and status. It appears that aircraft may have had an in-flight fire and if so, the aircraft maneuvers could be due to Smoke Removal Emergency Procedures, which involves descending the aircraft to 10,000 feet and also opening the cockpit window.

The ACARS received were as follows (all times in UTC):

00:26 3044 ANTI ICE R WINDOW
00:29 2200 AUTO FLT FCU 2 FAULT
00:29 2700 F/CTL SEC 3 FAULT


MS804: It doesn’t have to be terrorism!

As the search continues to find Egyptair MS804 (SU-GCC), speculation begin to surface as to the cause of the tragedy. While many point towards terrorism, I tend to keep an open mind and not fall to the “bandwagon” syndrome. A piece of information about the flight paths final moments were revealed by Panos Kammenos, the Greek Defence Minister based on military radar information, stated that “it turned 90⁰ to the left and then a 360⁰ turn towards the right, dropping from 37,000 feet to 15,000 feet.”

The Times newspaper made an illustration on it’s understanding of the above piece of information.


Whilst Russian and Egyptian authorities, according to The Times, believed that this was an act of terrorism, the information provided by the Greek Defence Minister, in my opinion, says that there is a possibility that it isn’t.

A case of decompression?

An aircraft suffering rapid decompression at high altitude would need to descend to 10,000 feet as quickly as possible. However, making these kinds of descents can result in risk of collision amongst other aircraft along the same airway. With descent rates that can exceed -6,000 feet per minute, you really don’t want to have a TCAS warning whilst doing the emergency descent. So the solution is, and is standard emergency descent procedure, to turn 90⁰ to the left or right (depending on the situation), to get away from airway and minimise collision risks with anyone else on the airway. After you get away from the airway, you then bring yourself parallel to the airway, to minimize your chances of losing your bearings and end up in another airway. This can explain if the MS804 had a 90⁰ left turn followed by a 90⁰ turn to the right.

An example of this 90⁰ turn followed by an opposite 90⁰ turn was during a decompression case I followed a few months ago. In this case, another A320 operated by Citilink operating flight QG861 had a decompression and the crew decided to make an emergency descent with those 90⁰ turns.

Citilink QG861 PK-GLI had a decompression in January 2016, shows the tell-tale sign of the 90-degree turns you would expect in an emergency descent.
A close-up sequence snapshots of QG861 emergency descent, showing why it was necessary to make the turns which has now become standard procedures.
So why did they continue the right turn into a 360⁰ turn?

This is of course, the multi-million dollar question at the moment. On the case of QG861, I interviewed the captain of this incident (he happens to be a good friend of mine), and I showed him his flight path, and he asked, “Did I really exceed 90⁰ heading change on the initial turn?” Our conclusion was that in extreme attitudes, one’s skill and judgement is tested, and the risks of becoming disoriented went significantly higher than normal.

Of course there may be major differences between the two cases, but let us remind ourselves of the situation with MS804. QG861 happened in daylight hours while MS804 happened during the early hours in the morning, quite likely fatigued, and right inside what I refer to as “disorientation black hole” (for lack of a better term). The turning maneuvers if not done correctly, could have resulted in the aircraft entering an upset attitude, which if not corrected, could lead to loss of control or inflight breakup. Cases such as Ethiopian 409 in Beirut, Kenya Airways 507 in Douala and even Adam Air 571. But these thoughts of decompression and disorientation are just “ifs and maybes” at the moment, but to me, they look more credible than the “if it turned like it did then it had to be unlawful interference” or “it has to be a terror attack” bandwagon calls.

OK, now if it was decompression, what caused it?

It could be anything. While an act of terror is possible, it doesn’t have to be, but we will find out the clues to point us in the right direction once the wreckage is found.


Egyptair flight Paris-Cairo goes missing


Egyptair has confirmed that one of it’s aircraft has gone missing. Flight MS804 from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport to Cairo disappeared roughly 10 nautical miles after entering Egyptian airspace this morning at around 0230 local time. The flight was operated by an Airbus A320 registered SU-GCC msn 2088 that made it’s first flight 25 July 2003 and delivered to Egyptair 3 November 2003. The aircraft was carrying 58 passengers and 10 crew members. The flight was due to land 3 hours ago (at the time of writing). Egyptair has made several official statements regarding this tragedy and search efforts are underway.


Flight playback on FlightRadar24 ADS-B tracking site and showing the last recorded position.


Deraya cargo BAe-ATP PK-DGB runway excursion at Wamena


Photos are circulating around the internet this afternoon of a BAe ATP in Deraya colours, registered PK-DGB, slewed off the runway at Wamena airport (WMX) with the landing gears collapsed. It is likely that this aircraft will be written off. No other information is received other than the weather was marginal and the runway wet when the aircraft landed.

Close up of the front section revealing damaged propellers.
Cargo has been offloaded.

This is the second accident involving Deraya’s BAe ATP in Wamena alone. On 8 May 2013, it’s sister aircraft, PK-DGI was written off after being damaged on landing on a flight from Jayapura.