Narrative:An Embraer 190LR passenger jet, registered B-3130, was destroyed in an accident while on approach to Yichun Lindu Airport (LDS), China. Forty-four occupants were killed; the airplane was destroyed by fire.
Henan Airlines Flight VD8387 departed from Harbin-Taiping International Airport (HRB) at 20:51. The ERJ-190 climbed to the assigned cruising altitude of 6300 m. At 21:10 the flight crew established radio contact with air traffic control at Yichun. The controller informed the flight crew that the visibility was 2800 m.
Radiation fog had started to form and caused a rapid reduction in visibility.
The flight crew then prepared for a runway 30 approach and landing. While entering the procedure turn for final approach, the copilot reported observing the runway lights. At the completion of the procedure turn, at 21:33, the controller reminded the crew that the minimum descent altitude was 440 m. Three minutes later the airplane entered the area with radiation fog. The captain switched off the autopilot at 21:36 and continued the approach although the runway was not in sight. The approach was continued until the airplane struck terrain about 870 m short of runway 30. Fuel from the ruptured tanks ignited and a fire erupted.
Probable Cause:Investigators from the State Administration of Work Safety concluded that the captain, on his first flight into Yichun, continued the approach despite the fact that the reported visibility of 2800 m was below the minimum of 3600 m. Also, the crew continued the approach into radiation fog and without being able to see the runway. The crew failed to initiate a missed approach when the radio altimeter callouts indicated that the airplane was near the ground.
A contributing factor to the accident was Henan Airlines' weak safety management. The parent company, Shenzen Airlines failed to supervise the safety management at Henan Airlines.
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Ground
» State Administration of Work Safety report (in Chinese)
Follow-up / safety actions
The accident was investigated by the State Administration of Work Safety which advised in June 2012 that 19 people should be punished. The plane's captain should be held criminally liable, while officials should be given disciplinary penalties, be demoted or dismissed from their posts.
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 Harbin-Taiping International Airport to Yichun Lindu Airport as the crow flies is 315 km (197 miles).