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Last updated: 25 March 2019
Date:Tuesday 24 December 2002
Type:Silhouette image of generic SW4 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Swearingen SA227-AC Metro III
Operator:North Flying
Registration: OY-BPH
C/n / msn: AC-580B
First flight: 1984
Engines: 2 Garrett TPE331-11U-611G
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Aberdeen-Dyce Airport (ABZ) (   United Kingdom)
Phase: Initial climb (ICL)
Departure airport:Aberdeen-Dyce Airport (ABZ/EGPD), United Kingdom
Destination airport:Aalborg Airport (AAL/EKYT), Denmark
Flightnumber: 924
Swearingen Metro III OY-BPH had been contracted to Ben Air for mail services during December 2002. On December 24 the plane was to be positioned back to its base in Denmark. Start clearance was given at 07:36. Then the crew were cleared to taxi to 'Whiskey Five' for runway 16. After switching frequencies to Aberdeen Tower they were cleared for takeoff. For the reduced power takeoff roll, with the flaps at 1/4, the power was set by the captain. At VR (100 kts), the co-pilot rotated the aircraft to a pitch attitude of about 12° to 15° nose-up. As the aircraft left the ground, the co-pilot detected the aircraft 'yawing' to the right; almost immediately, he was also aware of a distinct smell of smoke. He called to the captain that he had an engine failure, called for maximum power and tried to maintain control by corrective aileron and rudder inputs. The captain felt the aircraft roll about 15° to the right and realised that there was a problem with the right (No. 2) engine. He reached for both power levers and moved them forward. There were no audio or visual warnings associated with the apparent problem. The captain looked at the EGT gauges with the power levers fully forward and noted that the No 2 engine indicated about 600°C EGT, whereas the left (No 1) engine indicated greater than 650°C EGT (the normal maximum) and that its fuel 'Bypass' light was on. He retarded the No 1 power lever until the 'Bypass' light extinguished and noted the resultant EGT at about 630°C. He did not recall any other abnormal indications on the engine instruments but, later in the investigation, the captain recalled hearing a sound "like a compressor stall from the right engine". About this time, the co-pilot heard the automatic "Bank Angle" voice activate. As the aircraft continued to turn to the right, the co-pilot called that he "couldn't control the aircraft". The captain reached for and pulled No 2 engine 'Stop and Feather Control' but, almost immediately, OY-BPH struck the ground initially with the right wing. The aircraft slid along the surface of a field, through a fence and onto a road (Dyce Drive), where it struck a car and came to rest. A fire developed on the right hand side, but the crew managed to get out safely.

Probable Cause:

An investigation disclosed that the left engine had experienced bird strike on takeoff, but with no apparent power loss. An extensive technical examination could not identify any reason for a loss of power on the right engine. It was concluded that three actions led to airplane to crash. First, the captain retarded the left power lever after noticing the 'Bypass' light illuminate. This retardation of the power lever was not required, and could have resulted in a lower engine power. Second, the co-pilot did not use full rudder deflection to counter the right bank, and third, the commander did not raise the gear because he did not observe a positive rate of climb. These factors may have combined to reduce the climb capability of the aircraft to zero and, in that situation, the decision to not raise the gear was correct. However, all these factors were influenced by inappropriate crew actions. Although both pilots had flown together before, the lack of adherence to JAR-OPS conversion requirements may have been partly responsible for their actions
during the emergency.

Loss of control

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Follow-up / safety actions

AAIB issued 1 Safety Recommendation

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photo of Swearingen SA.227AC Metro III OY-BPH
photo of Swearingen SA.227AC Metro III OY-BPH
photo of Swearingen SA.227AC Metro III OY-BPH
photo of Swearingen SA.227AC Metro III OY-BPH
photo of Swearingen SA.227AC Metro III OY-BPH
photo of Swearingen SA.227AC Metro III OY-BPH
photo of Swearingen SA.227AC Metro III OY-BPH
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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 Aberdeen-Dyce Airport to Aalborg Airport as the crow flies is 720 km (450 miles).

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