Narrative:A Bombardier DHC-8-402Q Dash 8 aircraft, C-GLQO, sustained substantial damage in tailstrike accident on landing at Sault Ste. Marie Airport, ON (YAM), Canada. There were no reported injuries.
Porter Airlines flight 689 was on a visual short final approach to Sault Ste. Marie's Airport runway 30 when power was reduced to correct the descent profile. The aircraft's descent rate quickly increased and was not arrested with power application. The airspeed decreased, causing the approach to become unstabilized.
The aircraft landed hard and during the landing flair the pitch angle increased such that the tail of the aircraft contacted the runway surface. There was significant damage to the aircraft skin and structure where it contacted the ground. The aircraft taxied to the gate without further incident.
Findings as to causes and contributing factors:
1. Neither crew member identified that the airspeed had dropped below landing reference speed; the flight no longer met the requirements of a stabilized approach, and an overshoot was required.
2. The pilot monitoring did not identify the decreasing airspeed and increasing descent rate in time to notify the pilot flying or intervene.
3. In response to the pilot monitoring's warning to add power, the pilot flying pitched the nose up beyond the limits stated in the standard operating procedures and the manufacturer's pitch awareness training.
4. The high rate of descent coupled with the high nose-up attitude of the aircraft resulted in the hard landing that compressed the struts and allowed the tail to strike the runway.
Findings as to risk
1. If standard operating procedures do not clearly define the requirements for a stabilized visual approach, there is an increased risk that continued flight could result in a landing accident.
2. If standard operating procedures do not clearly define the duties of the pilot monitoring, there is an increased risk that unsafe flight conditions could develop.
» CADORS 2013O1292
FDR readout: Vertical profile from 4.75 nautical miles
FDR readout: Vertical profile from 1.5 nautical miles
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 Toronto Island Airport, ON to Sault Ste. Marie Airport, ON as the crow flies is 508 km (318 miles).