Narrative:The aircraft, a Trans Maldivian Airways de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter 300, 8Q-TMT, experienced a left hand float collapse after striking the dock at Conrad Maldivian Resort, Rangali Island, while on taxi and became partially submerged.
The aircraft sustained substantial damage and the 3 crew and 14 passengers escaped uninjured.
During the 35-minute flight from Male to the Conrad Maldivian Resort, the weather was deteriorating with strong winds (approx 40-45 knots) from a westerly direction. The copilot, being pilot flying, landed the aircraft landed safely and the captain took over controls as a normal procedure and taxied through the channel for docking at the fixed platform attached to the main jetty.
Since it was a fixed platform the crew had difficulty docking the aircraft in strong tailwind and swells. At the first attempt to dock the aircraft ended up forward of the platform which made the crew to abort docking. On the second attempt to dock, the captain applied full reverse and right rudder while the co-pilot applied opposite aileron to overcome the strong winds as the aircraft approached the fixed platform.
However, the aircraft moved forward and hit the platform hard and the cabin crew, who was at his station on the left hand float, was flung into the water. On impact with the platform the left hand float attachments were sheared and the left hand propeller blades struck the platform surface while the right hand float lifted up and
struck the right hand propeller. The captain reported cutting off the fuel at the first impact. The aircraft started turning, pivoting at its nose near the platform then started drifting away due to the strong winds and swells.
Immediately after the impact water started seeping inside the aircraft. The captain attempted to secure the aircraft and the copilot was attempting to facilitate evacuation of the passengers. The cabin crew member swam to the aircraft and joined the crew in the evacuation process. All the passengers and crew were able to
evacuate the aircraft before the fuselage was fully submerged.
AICC determines that the probable cause(s) of the accident as follows:
Pilot in Command's miss judgement of wind condition and its effect during docking procedure resulting in the aircraft colliding with the docking platform at a very high speed. Major contributing factor was high tail winds and adverse weather condition prevailing at the time of accident.
» CAA Maldives
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 Male International Airport to Conrad Maldivian Resort, Rangali, Alifu Dhaalu Atoll as the crow flies is 110 km (69 miles).