Narrative:IAI Astra C-FRJZ departed on a night-time flight to the private airstrip at Fox Harbour, NS.
|Date:||Wednesday 22 March 2000|
|Type:||IAI Astra SPX|
|C/n / msn:|| 087|
|First flight:|| 1997|
|Engines:|| 2 Garrett TFE731-40AR-200G|
|Crew:||Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: |
|Passengers:||Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: |
|Total:||Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: |
|Airplane damage:|| Substantial|
|Airplane fate:|| Repaired|
|Location:||Fox Harbour Airport, NS (Canada)
|Phase:|| Approach (APR)|
|Destination airport:||Fox Harbour Airport, NS, Canada|
The departure and en route portions of the flight to Fox Harbour were unremarkable until preparation for the descent. The owner of the IAI Astra jet had made it clear to this crew, and to other crews on previous occasions, that he expected arrivals and approaches to be flown in minimum time. The operating crew and other employees confirmed this pressure, and aircrew therefore planned and conducted their operations accordingly. In preparation for the arrival and the approach to Fox Harbour, the crew inserted a series of waypoints in the flight management system to guide them for a straight-in approach and landing on runway 33.
In general, the descent was flown at high speed on a track following the navigation waypoints programmed in the flight management system by the crew. Speed brakes were required to slow the aircraft during the descent. Example speeds show that the aircraft was at 340 knots indicated airspeed (KIAS) at 10 000 feet, 310 KIAS at 5000 feet, and 250 KIAS at 1000 feet. At 1000 feet, the aircraft was levelled and decelerated to configure for approach and landing. About this time, there was a slight quartering tailwind component, estimated to be about six knots. Because the speed was high throughout the descent, flaps and landing gear selections were delayed and, consequently, not fully extended until about three miles from the runway. At this time, the co-pilot went "heads down" to ensure that all checklist items were complete and to confirm that the aircraft was properly configured to land. When he next looked up, he observed that the aircraft was low in relationship to the runway and advised the captain, who corrected by levelling the aircraft. The aircraft altitude was recorded on radar to be between 200 and 300 feet above sea level while tracking inbound to the airport. A short distance before the tree line the aircraft began descending again. The co-pilot saw trees between the aircraft and the runway and called for an overshoot. The captain had begun the overshoot on the co-pilot's call; however, the action was not taken in time to avoid striking the trees.
About 50 feet above ground level and 1300 feet from the threshold of runway 33, the aircraft struck the trees and descended 10 feet into the treetops, then climbed away. Damage to the aircraft comprised wing leading-edge dents, minor fuselage perforations, leading- and trailing-edge flap dents and perforations, nose and landing-gear door damage, and foreign object damage to both engines. Tree debris was entangled in the landing gear; some of this debris fell from the aircraft during the overshoot. Debris that entered the engines subsequently resulted in an odour of burning wood and some smoke in the cabin.
Once the aircraft began climbing on the overshoot, the crew raised the landing gear and the trailing-edge flaps. Both systems functioned normally. The initial decision to raise the landing gear and the flaps was re-examined during the overshoot climb, resulting in the leading-edge flaps being left extended. The crew contacted air traffic control on the overshoot, declared an emergency, and requested clearance to Charlottetown. Charlottetown was chosen because it was nearby and clearly visible from Fox Harbour, had landing aids, and had airport emergency response services. The aircraft continued to Charlottetown for a straight-in approach and an uneventful landing and shutdown.
FINDINGS AS TO CAUSES AND CONTRIBUTING FACTORS:
1. Conditions conducive to black-hole illusion were present during the night approach to the runway.
2. In this situation, the crew did not recognize the potential hazard of the black-hole illusion and therefore did not compensate for it.
3. The crew did not adhere to the required standard operating procedures for the preparation and execution of the approach. Consequently, the crew were inadequately prepared for the visual conditions on final approach.
FINDINGS AS TO RISK:
1. The high descent and intermediate approach speeds caused cockpit pre-landing checks to be delayed. This delay resulted in the co-pilot's attention being diverted inside the cockpit when approach monitoring should have been done.
2. The crew's decision to raise the landing gear and the flaps on the overshoot after hitting the trees increased the risk to the flight.
» TSB Report Number A00A0051