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Accident
Last updated: 16 October 2017
Status:Definitief
Datum:woensdag 5 november 1997
Tijd:16:20 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic A343 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Airbus A340-311
Luchtvaartmaatschappij:Virgin Atlantic Airways
Registratie: G-VSKY
Constructienummer: 16
Bouwjaar: 1993
Aantal vlieguren:19323
Aantal vluchten:2104
Motoren: 4 CFMI CFM56-5C2
Bemanning:slachtoffers: 0 / inzittenden: 16
Passagiers:slachtoffers: 0 / inzittenden: 98
Totaal:slachtoffers: 0 / inzittenden: 114
Schade: Groot
Gevolgen: Repaired
Plaats:London-Heathrow Airport (LHR) (   Verenigd Koninkrijk)
Fase: Landing (LDG)
Soort vlucht:Internationale lijnvlucht
Vliegveld van vertrek:Los Angeles International Airport, CA (LAX/KLAX), Verenigde Staten
Vliegveld van aankomst:London-Heathrow Airport (LHR/EGLL), Verenigd Koninkrijk
Beschrijving:
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 judgment 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.

Probable Cause:

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.

Accident investigation:
cover
Investigating agency: AAIB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 years and 8 months
Accident number: AAIB AAR 4/2000
Download report: Final report


Veiligheidsmaatregelen

AAIB issued 6 Safety Recommendations

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Kaart
Deze kaart geeft het vliegveld van vetrek weer en de geplande bestemming van de vlucht. De lijn tussen de vliegvelden geeft niet de exacte vliegroute weer.
De afstand tussen Los Angeles International Airport, CA en London-Heathrow Airport bedraagt 8702 km (5439 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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