Narrative:A Boeing 767-300, G-OOBK, sustained substantial damage in a hard landing accident at Bristol Airport (BRS), U.K.
Flight BY519 departed from Cancún (CUN), Mexico on a scheduled flight to Bristol (BRS). There were 258 passengers and twelve crew members on board.
The flight to Bristol was uneventful. Approaching the top of descent, the co-pilot carried out a briefing for the approach to runway 09, referring to the operator’s airport-specific (category B aerodrome) briefing as he did so. At the end of his brief, the commander emphasised points regarding the ILS glideslope on runway 09 and its possible effects during the latter part of the approach, and the longitudinal profile of the runway. The ILS glideslope is not usable below 200 ft aal.
The flight crew planned to land with flap 30 and autobrake 4 because of the length of the runway. Shortly after the top of descent, the flight crew obtained the ATIS which stated that runway 09 was in use, the wind was from 100° at 10 kt, visibility 1,400 m in rain and mist, with RVR in excess of 1,500 m, and cloud scattered at 100 ft aal and broken at 400 ft aal.
As the aircraft descended through FL300, the commander decided that, given the weather conditions at Bristol, he should carry out the landing himself, and took control.
During the approach the commander commented that there was "a surprising amount of turbulence".
The aircraft was established on the ILS for runway 09 with the autothrottle and autopilot engaged. The target approach speed was set to 139 kt on the Mode Control Panel (MCP) and at 1,600 ft above airfield level (aal), the aircraft was fully configured for landing, with flap set at 30° and autobrake four selected. The aircraft was stabilised on the glide path at an average descent rate of about 680 ft/min (~11 ft/s), although there were fluctuations in airspeed, angle of attack and normal acceleration, indicative of turbulence.
As the aircraft descended through 200 ft aal, the autothrottle and autopilot were manually disconnected. The airspeed was 141 kt at the time and the wind calculated by the FMC was from 138° at 25 kt. At approximately 120 ft aal, there was a slight increase in engine EPR and the airspeed also increased from 138 kt to 146 kt. At about the same time, the aircraft pitch attitude increased from 2.5° to just less than 4° nose up. This was followed by a momentary nose down input on the control column and a coincident reduction in engine EPR.
At a height of about 35 ft (just over three seconds before touchdown), the pitch attitude was just less than 1° nose up and airspeed was 142 kt. The descent rate was about 600 ft/min (10 ft/sec), with the wind, calculated by the FMC, from 116° at 20 kt. Aft control column was then applied and over the next three seconds the pitch attitude progressively increased to 3.5° nose up . However, there was only a gradual reduction in the rate of descent before the aircraft touched down on the main landing gear, registering a peak normal load of 2.05g. Coincident with the touchdown of the main landing gear, a momentary longitudinal deceleration of -0.27g was recorded. Both the commander and co-pilot were thrown forward during the touchdown, which resulted in the commander inadvertently moving the control column forward, to a nose down position. The spoilers also started to deploy at this time. The aircraft then became 'light' on its main landing gear whilst also de-rotating in pitch at about three degrees per second. At a nose down pitch attitude of just less than 1°, a normal load of 2.05g was recorded as the nose gear contacted the runway. The aircraft then rapidly pitched up and down, from between 3° nose up to just less than 0.5° nose down (indicating bouncing of the nose gear), before the aircraft eventually settled on the landing gear.
Seven seconds after the initial touchdown, the thrust reversers were deployed, and the control column, which had remained in a forward nose down position since the initial touchdown, was progressively moved aft.
Manual braking was then applied before the aircraft was taxied from the runway.
CONCLUSION: "Damage to the fuselage occurred as a result of rapid de-rotation of the aircraft following a hard landing on the main landing gear. The runway profile, nuisance GPWS alerts and the meteorological conditions may have influenced the landing."
Official accident investigation report
Follow-up / safety actions
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 Cancún Airport to Bristol Airport as the crow flies is 7753 km (4846 miles).