civil aviation administration SLV is awaiting a detailed statement from
regional airline Cimber Air
after suspecting that one of its ATR 42-500 turboprops exceeded flight limits
by performing a 360° longitudinal roll.
began when the Danish authority was notified of the manoeuvre on 10 May, the
day after it was carried out at Sonderborg
where Cimber Air is based.
Sources familiar with the incident state that Cimber Air
managing director Jorgen Nielsen was at the controls with one other pilot.
No-one else was on board. The sources claim the crew had been preparing for Denmark’s
upcoming Karup Air Show on
8 June, although it is unclear whether the roll was intended to be part of the
of images of the incident appear to show the twin-engined aircraft travelling at low level – perhaps under 100ft – with its
undercarriage raised, before entering a right-hand climbing turn, inverting and
exiting the roll.
The climbing turn is characteristic of a ‘barrel’ roll
during which a pilot follows a corkscrew flight-path around a central axis, smoothly
changing heading by 90° during both the inversion and recovery, while
maintaining positive g-force.
Cimber Air would not discuss the
event. A spokesman for SLV says the authority is to conduct an assessment and
is awaiting a report from the airline, expected in the next week, which will
include cockpit-voice and flight-data recorder information.
does not have confirmation of the height of the ATR or the extent of the
aerodynamic forces involved. But the spokesman says: “We suspect, although only
on the basis of initial information, that the aircraft had been flown outside
its operational envelope.”
the incident the ATR was taken to Eindhoven in the Netherlands
to undergo a structural inspection.
need some time to make a thorough report on the incident and assess whether
there were stress factors on the airframe,” says the
SLV spokesman, cautioning that a sequence of photographs can be misleading.
aircraft, serial number 501, is a 12-year old example which was previously on
lease to Middle Eastern operator Oman Air, and was still carrying much of the
airline’s colour scheme at the time.
believes the aircraft was on its way back to airline service with Cimber Air but that it had still
to be brought up to full operational specifications.
spokesman adds that SLV cannot say whether any regulations might have been
broken until the authority has had a chance to study the data and the airline’s
air accident investigation agency HCL says that the matter is in the hands of
SLV and that it is not involved in the inquiry. ATR could not immediately
comment on the incident.