Accident
Last updated: 31 October 2014
Estado:Final
Fecha:miércoles 5 noviembre 1997
Hora:16:20 UTC
Tipo:Silhouette image of generic A343 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Airbus A340-311
Operador:Virgin Atlantic Airways
Registración: G-VSKY
Numéro de série: 16
Año de Construcción: 1993
Horas Totales de la Célula:19323
Ciclos:2104
Motores: 4 CFMI CFM56-5C2
Tripulación:Fatalidades: 0 / Ocupantes: 16
Pasajeros:Fatalidades: 0 / Ocupantes: 98
Total:Fatalidades: 0 / Ocupantes: 114
Daños en la Aeronave: Considerable
Consecuencias: Repaired
Ubicación:London-Heathrow Airport (LHR) (   Reino Unido) show on map
Fase: Aterrizaje (LDG)
Naturaleza:Vuelo Internacional Programado
Aeropuerto de Salida:Los Angeles International Airport, CA (LAX/KLAX), Estados Unidos de América
Aeropuerto de Llegada:London-Heathrow Airport (LHR/EGLL), Reino Unido
Descripción:
The accident occurred when the aircraft, which had a landing gear problem on its first approach to Heathrow Airport, carried out an emergency landing on runway 27L with the left main landing gear only partially extended. The flight crew responded to the in-flight emergency with commendable judgement and conducted a skilful landing, with the Airport Emergency Services in full and effective attendance. The evacuation was completed with minor injuries to 5 passengers and 2 crew members.
Examination of the left main landing gear found that the gear had been jammed by the No 6 wheel brake torque rod which had disconnected from its brake pack assembly and had become trapped in the keel beam structure. The associated torque rod pin was subsequently found beyond the end of runway 24L at Los Angeles International Airport, the departure airport.


CAUSAL FACTORS:
1) Full deployment of the left main landing gear was prevented by the unrestrained end of the No 6 brake torque rod having become trapped in the keel beam structure within the gear bay, jamming the landing gear in a partially deployed position.
2) The torque pin which had connected No 6 brake torque rod to that wheel brake assembly had disengaged during landing gear retraction after take off from Los Angeles, allowing the unrestrained rod to pivot freely about the retained end.
3) The torque pin and its retaining assembly had been subject to higher axial and torsional loads than predicted during aircraft braking in service. These loads were the result of elastic deformation of the wheel axle, brake and torque rod, and due to assembly without the correct axial clearance as a result of prior undetected displacement of the associated bushes. The precise mode of failure of the retaining assembly bolt, nut and cotter pin could not be ascertained in the absence of these parts.
4) This design of wheel brake assembly had satisfactorily passed the related certification wheel brake structural torque test to the requirements of TSO C26c paragraph 4.2(b). However the latter contained no requirement to use a representative axle or other means to reproduce the axle deflections which occur during aircraft braking in service, and did not require post torque test strip assessment of brake assemblies for resultant evidence of overstressing deformation which did not produce component failure.

Fuentes:

Official accident investigation report
investigating agency: Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) - United Kingdom
report status: Final
report number: AAIB AAR 4/2000
download report: Report on the accident to Airbus A340-311, G-VSKY, at London Heathrow Airport on 5 November 1997 (AAIB AAR 4/2000)

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Map
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Los Angeles International Airport, CA to London-Heathrow Airport as the crow flies is 8702 km (5439 miles).

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