Narrative:The aircraft struck the ground to the right of runway 26 whilst attempting to land from a low level, visual circuit. The crew had previously attempted two instrument approaches in poor weather neither of which had been successful. Following the ground contact the aircraft diverted to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, where it landed without further incident.
The following causal factors were identified:
(i) A very late go-around, initiated at a speed 14 kt below the target threshold speed, resulted in the underside of the aircraft's tail striking the ground thereby causing considerable damage to the aircraft.;
(ii) After an unsuccessful second non-precision instrument approach the commander flew a visual circuit which ultimately required unusual and aggressive manoeuvring of the aircraft, but he was still unable to place the aircraft on the runway.;
(iii) The visual circling approach was not discontinued immediately after the commander's spectacles became displaced, which resulted in the aircraft not being stabilised on the runway centre line
by 400 ft.;
(iv) Numerous deviations from the operator's Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) by the flight crew precluded the establishment of a stabilised approach, increased the commander's workload and made a successful landing less likely from either of the instrument approaches.;
(v) The first officer (FO) did not contribute sufficiently towards the overall management of the flight and failed to challenge any of the commander's flawed decisions as his Crew Resource Management (CRM) training and experience should have equipped him to do.
Official accident investigation report
Follow-up / safety actions
During the course of the investigation the following safety recommendations were made:
1) It is recommended that the operator should ensure that a programme to review, on a routine basis, disidentified FDR records in order to assess adherence to SOPs by its crews, is introduced as soon as possible.;
2) The operator should review, in general terms, the operating procedures to ensure that they are providing the most effective guidance to pilots in order to ensure safe and efficient approach procedures.;
3) The airfield authority should provide an effective form of approach lighting for Runway 26 at Puerto Plata.
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 Bangor International Airport, ME to Puerto Plata-La Union International Airport as the crow flies is 2770 km (1731 miles).