ATR crash prompts NTSB flight manual recommendation

Accidents resulting from bounced landings have led the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to recommend that all airlines include a recovery technique in their flight manuals.

ATR 72 Big

The accident that finally prompted the board to make the recommendation was an American Eagle ATR 72 bounced landing that led to a heavy final touchdown in which the aircraft suffered serious damage.

This NTSB recommendation is unusual because flight manuals normally offer guidance on aircraft systems, operational procedures and performance, not on basic flying technique unless a particular type has unusual handling characteristics in specific phases of flight.

In a factual summary of the 9 May 2004 accident – the final report has not yet been published – the NTSB has advised the Federal Aviation Administration that “Part 121 and 135 air carriers should be required to incorporate bounced landing recovery techniques in their flight manuals, and to teach these techniques during initial and recurrent training”.

In the Puerto Rico incident, the NTSB says, the aircraft carried out an unstabilised approach in good weather, “skipped” on the first touchdown, bounced hard on the second, and on the third and final touchdown the vertical forces caused the gear and aircraft structure to fail in several places. Finally, it overran the runway.

The probable cause of the accident, says the NTSB, was “the captain’s failure to execute proper techniques to recover from the bounced landings and his subsequent failure to execute a go-around”. In the conclusions, the report says: “The flight crew could have completed a successful landing after the initial touchdown.”


Source: Flight International