Beijing Capital Airlines has beefed up training related to bounced landings following a serious incident involving one of its Airbus A320s landing at Macau last year.

During the 8 August 2018 incident the aircraft (registered B-6952) lost its front nosewheel and suffered significant damage to both engines while attempting to land on Macau International airport’s runway 34, before declaring a mayday and diverting to Shenzhen Bao'an International airport.

Prior to reaching Macau, the flight JD5759 from Beijing Capital International Airport was uneventful, the Civil Aviation Authority of Macau states in its final report.

The aircraft touched down in Macau at 03:15 local time. On final approach, the 10kt tailwind was at the airline’s maximum allowable limit. When the aircraft was at five feet RA (radio altimeter) the tailwind rose sharply to 27 kts, creating wind shear conditions.

Although the airline’s operating manual calls for a callout in this situation, the two crew and single observing pilot, apparently focused on the landing, made no such callout.

The wind shear caused airspeed to fall from 139kts to 119kts, resulting in a sharp drop to the runway at a vertical acceleration of 2.36g – short of the hard landing threshold. That resulted in the aircraft bouncing up an an initial pitch of 7.5 degrees nose-up, and lifted off again before reaching a maximum height of seven feet, again based on the radio altimeter.

The aircraft's flight data recorder showed thrust was set above the "CLIMB" detent and not idle, which would have ensured ground spoiler extension as the jet touched down. In response an automatic “PITCH, PITCH” callout, the pilot flying applied a nose-down stick input, pushing pitch angle from 7.5 degrees to 1.8 degrees nose down.

This resulted in a second bounce on all three landing gear simultaneously at a vertical acceleration of 3.41g, which Airbus defines as a “severe hard landing,” and a groundspeed of 156kts.

This tore the wheels off the front landing gear, causing foreign object debris (FOD) damage to both engines, especially engine one, and other parts of the aircraft.

The crew aborted the landing and conducted a go-around. The landing gear remained extended, and the crew was confused about damage to the engines. Concerned about a fire in engine two, they idled it and left the less-damaged engine one in the TOGA (takeoff/go-around) setting.

“With this thrust output and the fact that the landing gear was down as well as the flap configuration of '3', the actual thrust output was insufficient to maintain the aircraft in a positive rate of climb,” says the report. “During the time of this thrust setting, the aircraft lost altitude of 425 feet from 1047 feet RA (reaching a lowest altitude of 622 feet RA) with a maximum rate of -1,500 feet/min and maximum pitch angle of 14.41 degree nose up.”

This resulted in “DON'T SINK” automatic calls and two stall warnings. Eventually, the crew advanced engine two to TOGA and idled engine one.

The crew also learned that a wheel had been found on the runway at Macau, so the captain declared a mayday and decided to divert to Shenzhen, where they touched down at 03:57 local time, and an evacuation was ordered, “which was orderly completed.”

All 166 crew and passengers evacuated by slides, and five occupants suffered minor injuries that did not require hospitalisation.

Cirium’s Fleets Analyzer shows that B-6952 is still listed as “in-storage.” The CFM International CFM56-powered jet is owned by the carrier.

The authority called on the airline to improve training related to wind shear and bounced landings, as well as crew communication. The authority also called on the airport to consider implementing a low-level wind shear detection system.

Source: Cirium Dashboard