Venezolana B732, uncontained engine failure May 30th 2019

A Venezolana Boeing 737-200, registration YV502T performing flight VNE-1303 from Port of Spain (Trinidad and Tobago) to Caracas (Venezuela) with 79 people on board, was climbing out of Port of Spain when the left hand engine (JT8D) failed emitting a loud bang. The crew stopped the climb and returned to Port of Spain for a safe landing about 23 minutes after departure.

A post flight inspection revealed the engine had suffered an uncontained failure ejecting debris radially downwards. The fuselage also received minor damage as result of the engine failure.

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Air safety institute warns about jet fuel contamination

The AOPA Air Safety Institute has issued an ASI Safety Notice calling pilots’ attention to the problem of jet fuel being contaminated with diesel exhaust fluid, which is not approved for use in aircraft and has caused engine failure or significant damage to aircraft engines and fuel systems in several instances.

The safety notice posted on the Air Safety Institute and AOPA websites was prompted by a May 9 fuel-contamination incident that caused two Cessna Citation jets that received tainted fuel in Punta Gorda, Florida, to experience in-flight failures-in one case of both engines, and in the other instance, of one of two engines. Both aircraft landed safely.

Diesel exhaust fluid, or DEF, is not intended for use in aircraft but is used to reduce emissions in diesel engines such as those in ground vehicles. When added to jet fuel, DEF can trigger reactions including the formation of crystals that can plug fuel filters and damage engine components.

In a letter to Acting FAA Administrator Daniel K. Elwell, AOPA President Mark Baker noted that the May 9 incident was the third in the last 18 months in which DEF was mistakenly added to aircraft fuel in separate locations, presumably in place of icing-inhibitor fluid. Both fluids are clear and colourless.

“We believed the first contamination event in November 2017 to be a unique situation and unlikely to reoccur. Unfortunately, a second occurred in August 2018,” Baker wrote, adding that the incidents led to the creation of an industry working group “to study factors surrounding these events, develop mitigation strategies, and recommend both short and long-term actions for industry and the FAA to implement.”

The ASI Safety Notice urges pilots to inquire if your fuel providers use DEF in ground equipment and about procedures to confirm that only the correct additives are used for jet fuel. Procedures should include separate storage, clear labelling, confirmation of correct additives at the time of insertion, and personnel training.

Noting that there are no known pre-flight procedures pilots can use to identify the presence of DEF in jet fuel, the notice raises pilots’ awareness that if engine failure occurs due to turbine flameout, DEF contamination is a possible cause. “Follow emergency checklist procedures for engine failure and realize if DEF contamination is the cause, successful restart is unlikely,” it cautions, noting that the loss of remaining engines is likely.

If DEF contamination is suspected, pilots should notify the fixed-base operator where fuel was obtained as soon as possible, and document and report the incident to the local FAA office immediately.

Baker’s letter said he expected the industry working group to issue its recommendations shortly. “Any assistance the FAA can provide to work with industry and quickly implement the mitigation strategies identified in the report will be appreciated,” he wrote to Elwell.

Photo by Mike Fizer

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Forced landing April 22, out of fuel

Asia Airways AN26 near Khartoum on Apr 22nd 2019, ran out of fuel

An Asia Airways Antonov AN-26 freighter, registration EY-322 performing a positioning flight from Djibouti (Djibouti) to Khartoum (Sudan) with 5 crew, ran out of fuel about 40nm short of Khartoum Airport and was forced to land in open terrain. There were no injuries, the aircraft sustained substantial damage however.

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Commutair E145 2019, hard landing on Mar 4th, gear collapse & runway excursion

Accident: Commutair E145 at Presque Isle on Mar 4th 2019, hard landing, gear collapse and runway excursion

A Commutair Embraer ERJ-145 on behalf of United, registration N14171 performing flight CS-4933/UA-4933 from Newark, NJ to Presque Isle, ME (USA) with 28 passengers and 3 crew, was on final approach to Presque Isle’s runway 01 when the crew initiated a go around from about 2000 feet MSL. The aircraft positioned for another approach to runway 01 and continued for a hard touch down at 12:27L (16:27Z), the aircraft veered right off the runway, all gear collapsed. A pilot and three passengers received minor injuries, the aircraft sustained substantial damage.

Photo:Crown of Maine

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Citation overflies vehicle at 1 metre after take-off without clearance at Reykjavik

CitationJet CJ2 overflies airport vehicle at 1 metre after take-off without clearance at Reykjavik

On the morning of January 11th 2018 rain showers were present, the temperature was around freezing point and the runway braking action was poor at Reykjavik Airport (BIRK). It was decided to sand both runways.

At 10:04 the controller contacted the flight crew of a Cessna 525A CitationJet CJ2, N525FF, and informed them of the braking action on runway 19. The flight crew decided to proceed and were cleared to “Hold short RWY 19.” This was read back correctly by the flight crew.

At 10:07 the Tower controller gave the flight crew of N525FF the following instructions: “525FF Backtrack line up RWY 19,” which was also read back correctly by the flight crew.

Following communications in Icelandic about the sanding of the runways, the controller cleared the flight “… right turn line up RWY 19.”
The sanding truck had finished its run down the right side of runway 13. It then turned around at the end of runway 13 to start its run down the left side of runway 13, to sand that side of the runway.

While the Tower controller was focused on communications, he did not notice that the flight crew of airplane N525FF started their take-off roll on RWY 19 after having turned at the runway end.

When the sanding truck that was sanding runway 13 was about to cross runway 19, its driver noticed an airplane very close on runway 19, on his right side, just about to lift off. According to the sanding truck driver, he did not have sufficient time to react. The sanding truck was already at the runway center line of runway 19 when N525FF reached the runway section where RWY 19 crosses RWY 13.

N525FF took off and flew over the sanding truck at 10:11. There was a serious risk of collision, as the minimum distance between N525FF and the sanding truck is believed to have been less than 1 meter.

According to the Pilot Flying (PF) of N525FF, he recalled that they had been cleared to taxi and backtrack runway 19. When they turned around to line up on runway 19, the PF also recalled that the PNF transmitted that they were “ready for departure”. At this time the PF had already increased the thrust significantly and the aircraft started to slide on the ice, so the commander (PF) said “we have to go” and commenced the take-off.

The ITSB analysis of the ATC recordings concluded that said transmission by the PF “ready for departure”, did not take place.

The ITSB believes that if all the communications on the tower frequency would have been in English, then the flight crew of airplane N525FF might have been aware that RWY 13 was being sanded

Accident investigation:

Investigating agency: TSB Iceland
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year 1 month
Download Final report:

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Heavy snow causes business jet to pull a wheelie at Truckee airport

Heavy snow causes business jet to pull a wheelie at Truckee airport

More than 16 inches of dense, wet snow that fell Tuesday night on the Truckee Tahoe Airport caused a business jet to pull some on-ground aerobatics on Wednesday morning. 

The snow, regionally dubbed “Sierra cement” for its thick, heavy and sticky texture, piled on the tail and rear-mounted engines of a Cessna Citation X aircraft parked at the airport. 

The weight caused the nose of the jet to lift off the ground, resting on its tail in a stationary wheelie. 

“That aircraft (has) really massive engines in the rear, so they tend to be a little tail heavy anyway,” said Mark Lamb, aviation and community services manager at the airport. 

Business jets like the citation are generally moved from the Truckee airport when big winter storms are forecast, but in this case the jet was down for maintenance and couldn’t take off, according to Lamb. 

A business jet like the Citation is generally supported by a tail stand while it’s on the ground, which would prevent the nose from lifting if weight (like Sierra cement snow) were to be added to the already heavy tail. 

Lamb could not say if the Citation at Truckee Tahoe had such a tail stand during the storm Tuesday night.

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Crash: Saha B703 at Fath on Jan 14th 2019, landed at wrong airport

Saha B703 at Fath on Jan 14th 2019, landed at wrong airport

A Saha Airlines Boeing 707-300 freighter, registration EP-CPP performing a freight flight from Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan) to Karaj (Iran) with 16 crew and a cargo of meat, was on approach to Karaj’s Payam Airport’s runway 30 (length 3660 meters/12,000 feet) when the crew descended towards and landed on Fath’s airport 31L (length 1000 meters/3300 feet), overran the runway, broke through an airport perimeter wall, crashed into houses past the end of the runway and burst into flames at about 08:30L (03:00Z). So far one survivor (the flight engineer) and 16 bodies have been recovered. A number of houses were damaged.

Emergency services reported 16 bodies (15 male, 1 female) have been recovered so far. One survivor was taken to a hospital.

Another aircraft had confused the same airports but gone around in time, see Incident: Taban MD88 at Karaj on Nov 16th 2018, went around from very low height at wrong airport.

Iran’s Air Force confirmed the aircraft belonged to Saha Airlines. The only survivor recovered so far was the flight engineer on board of the aircraft.

Metars Karaj:
OIIP 140400Z 16010KT 4000 BR FEW025 SCT035 OVC090 00/M01 Q1012 RERA=
OIIP 140300Z 12010KT 3000 SN RA FEW025 SCT035 OVC080 M00/M01 Q1012=
OIIP 131800Z 14008KT 6000 SCT035 BKN100 M01/M07 Q1014=

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Wizzair A320 descends below cleared level and causes near collision

Wizzair A320 descends below cleared level and causes near collision, November 10th 2018.

A Wizz Air Airbus A320-200, registration HA-LPM performing flight W6-3763 from Craiova (Romania) to Madrid,SP (Spain), was enroute at FL310 about 110nm east of Madrid when ATC cleared the aircraft to descend to FL300.

An Air Europa Express Embraer ERJ-195, registration EC-KRJ performing flight UX-1084 from Venice (Italy) to Madrid,SP (Spain), was enroute at FL290 110nm east of Madrid on the same airway as W6-3763 exactly below the A320.

The A320 descended below its cleared flight level 300 and reached FL292 before climbing again.

Spain’s CIAIAC reported the separation between the two aircraft reduced to 200 feet vertical and 0.2nm horizontal. When ATC noticed the A320 descended below its cleared level, ATC immediately instructed the aircraft to climb. The CIAIAC did not report any advisories by TCAS. An investigation was opened into the occurrence.

After being clear of conflict both aircraft continued to Madrid for safe landings without further incident.

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VietJet A320 at Nha Trang on Dec 25th, landed on closed runway

A VietJetAir Airbus A320-200, registration VN-A695 performing flight VJ-689 from Nha Trang to Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), was climbing out of Nha Trang’s Cam Ranh Airport’s runway 02 when the crew stopped the climb at FL130 due to a technical problem, entered a hold south of Nha Trang and decided to return to Nha Trang. The aircraft’s transponder stopped transmitting position data after the second holding pattern. The aircraft subsequently approached runway 02, however, landed on the already finished but not yet opened runway 02R instead of runway 02. There were no injuries and no damage.

Vietnam’s Civil Aviation Authority reported the aircraft departed Nha Trang at 11:14L (04:14Z) and was climbing out a few minutes after takeoff when the crew received a warning indication of a technical problem. The crew decided to return to Cam Ranh Airport for an emergency landing, however, mistakenly landed on a runway that was completed but not yet opened. The CAA assigned an investigation team and opened an investigation, soon after the CAA decided to suspend all staff by VietJetAir involved in the operation of this flight, to prohibit the airline to introduce new routes and to put VietJetAir under special monitoring.

A similar occurrence had happened earlier this year – Vietnam A321 at Nha Trang on Apr 29th 2018, landed on a runway under construction. 

Related NOTAM:
A3253/18 NOTAMN
Q) VVTS/QMRHW/IV/NBO/A/000/999/1200N10913E005
A) VVCR B) 1809281029 C) 1812311659 EST
– ITEM 2.1.1 PHASE 1: CONT UNTIL 1659 DATED DEC 31 2018

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Southwest B737 overran runway on landing, December 6th

Incident: Southwest B737 at Burbank on Dec 6th 2018, overran runway on landing

A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700, registration N752SW performing flight WN-278 from Oakland,CA to Burbank,CA (USA) with 112 passengers and 5 crew, landed on Burbank’s runway 08 (length 5800 feet/1765 meters) at 09:02L (17:02Z) but overran the end of the runway and came to a stop in the EMAS (engineered material arrestor system) past the end of the runway. There were no injuries, the aircraft sustained minor if any damage. The passenger disembarked via mobile stairs.

The airline reported the aircraft went into the EMAS at Burbank. All 112 passengers and 5 crew are unharmed and have disembarked via stairs.

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