ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 747-228F (SCD) OO-CBA Brussel-Zaventem Airport (BRU)
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Monday 27 October 2008
Type:Silhouette image of generic B742 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 747-228F (SCD)
Operator:Cargo B Airlines
Registration: OO-CBA
MSN: 24158/714
First flight: 1988-09-11 (20 years 2 months)
Total airframe hrs:82357
Engines: 4 General Electric CF6-50C2
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 5
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 6
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Brussel-Zaventem Airport (BRU) (   Belgium)
Phase: Takeoff (TOF)
Departure airport:Brussel-Zaventem Airport (BRU/EBBR), Belgium
Destination airport:Dakar-Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport (DKR/GOOY), Senegal
Cargo B flight BB3101 was scheduled to fly from Brussels, Belgium to Sao Paulo/Campinas, Brazil via Dakar, Senegal. There were six persons on board; three pilots, two flight engineers and a load master (passenger). The third pilot was intended as relief pilot, needed for the long flight. The additional flight engineer was an examiner, needed for a routine check of the first flight engineer.
The relief pilot, having just completed the B747-400 conversion course, requested the commander to fly on the second leg of the flight (Dakar-Viracopos) in order for him, during the first leg (Brussels-Dakar), to refresh his memory on the B747-200. The crew agreed that the co-pilot would be the pilot flying for the first leg.
The briefing was conducted by the three pilots. The flight engineers arrived 20 to 30 minutes before the departure time. Realizing the time left to prepare for the flight was insufficient, the commander requested to postpone the flight for 30 minutes; this was granted and the crew went to the aircraft.
In the cockpit, the relief pilot asked the commander to do the performance computation with the real time take-off software (RTTO). The commander agreed and requested to make the computation for dry and wet runway; in the event the runway's conditions would change. The relief pilot took one of the two portable computers on-board, and performed the computation. The relief pilot took the following into consideration: wet runway; starting from B1 intersection of runway 25R; disregard the head wind value. The cargo loading was reported on the load sheet produced by a local handling agency. The commander and the relief pilot discussed the opportunity to use either the figures of the load sheet, or use a specific module of the performance computer in order to enter the weight of the individual pallets, as it is done in outstation. They agreed to use the load sheet, as they were in Brussels.
While doing this, the relief pilot entered a wrong figure for the loading. The value of 265 T (zero fuel weight) was entered instead of the take-off weight (TOW) (normally 364 T).
The relief pilot handed over the computer to the commander who checked the performance figures, in re-starting the computation (without checking the load sheet and re-introducing the value of TOW, as per SOP). The commander checked that the outcome was identical to the figures written on the TO performance card the relief pilot had filled in.
The commander then determined the trim value, based on the value of 264000 kg for Total TOW with the Quick Reference Handbook (QRH).
The crew performed the pre-flight check, as per procedure. The operation was somewhat disrupted by a concern regarding the feeding of dogs carried on board and an intervention of the ground crew.
Up to that point, the Zero Fuel weight (ZFW) was not indicated on the TO performance card, and the TOW indicated on the card was the value of the ZFW, the performance figures were consistent with the computation done with the zero fuel weight (101 ton less than the actual weight).
During pre-flight check, after calling for zero fuel weight, the co-pilot noticed the discrepancy on the TO performance card, and drew the attention of the
commander. The card was subsequently corrected -the indicated value of 264 was changed to 364 T; the correct value of the TOW. There were no changes brought the performance figures (speeds).
The card was handed over to the flight engineer, who checked that the speed value were reflected on the bugs and dials.
Having completed the Before Start Check List, the crew requested push-back which was granted at 14:37:19. The airplane taxied towards runway 25R, intersection B1. The commander decided to use the full runway length instead of the take-off from the B1 intersection as originally planned. The clearance for take-off was given at 14:59:30. before the airplane reached runway 25R.
The airplane stopped a few seconds at the threshold, and the take-off procedure was performed as prescribed, with the call-ups at the pre-defined values. At rotation, the airplane did not react as usual. The pilot flying felt the controls were sluggish and the airplane was not climbing. He pulled the control wheel further, without noticeable results. At that moment, the tail section contacted the runway. The sound was not noticed by the pilots, having the headphones on. When the aircraft was between A3 and A5 in the take-off roll, the Tower (Air) controller observed the aircraft rotate. Till then the take-off roll seemed normal to them. At first nose-up attitude was normal but was then increased. The aircraft did not get airborne and a tail strike, accompanied by sparks, flames and smoke or dust was observed.
The pilot noticed the stick shaker being activated 2 times during the take-off roll.
He ordered full thrust, followed by the flight engineer. The throttles were advanced up to the forward stop. At that point, the airplane had accelerated sufficiently to get airborne.
The aircraft became airborne between A6 and A7, leaving approximately 600 m take-off run available (TORA). At the time the Tower controller was accompanied by a second controller sitting next to him. Both observed the tail strike.
The two controllers called out "tail strike, tail strike", alarming other controllers in the room. One controller observed that the initial flight attitude seemed to be more nose-up than normal, but that it was corrected soon and the aircraft appeared to be flying the expected pattern (CIV 1C SID).
Once airborne, the Tower controller tried to contact the airplane, but it had left the frequency. The airplane called on Ground frequency. The trainee ground controller instructed the airplane to contact the Tower frequency, but instead the airplane called the Approach frequency when passing 3500 feet AMSL. ATC requested the airplane about the intentions.
The approach controller, who had in the meantime received a report from the Tower of a possible tail damage, informed the crew. The crew was instructed to hold at ANT VOR, first at FL060, then later at FL080. The crew then reported they needed to dump fuel before returning to land in EBBR.
After about 1 hour and 20 minutes flight, the aircraft landed on runway 25R, which had in the meantime been swept and brought back into operation. At 16:20 the aircraft landed at the touch down aiming point and used the full runway length for deceleration.
The tail section of the aircraft showed severe scraping damages.
The airplane was withdrawn from use as a result of the damage and finally scrapped in January 2011.

Probable Cause:

The accident was caused by an inadequate take-off performance calculation, due to a wrong gross weight data input error in the software used for the computation of the take-off performance parameters and the failure to comply with the operator’s SOP for checkin the validity of the data.
Contributing factors:
- Inadequate pairing of crew members with low experience
- Lack of distraction management

Accident investigation:

Investigating agency: AAIU Belgium
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 6 years and 3 months
Accident number: AAIU-2009-18
Download report: Final report


Runway mishap


photo of Boeing-747-228F-OO-CBA
accident date: 27-10-2008
type: Boeing 747-228F (SCD)
registration: OO-CBA
photo of Boeing-747-228F-OO-CBA
accident date: 27-10-2008
type: Boeing 747-228F (SCD)
registration: OO-CBA

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 Brussel-Zaventem Airport to Dakar-Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport as the crow flies is 4445 km (2778 miles).
Accident location: Exact; deduced from official accident report.

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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