Incident Fairchild SA227-BC Metro III EC-ITP, 21 May 2004
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 90005
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Time:04:52 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic SW4 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Fairchild SA227-BC Metro III
Owner/operator:Top Fly
Registration: EC-ITP
MSN: BC-789B
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Minor
Location:Palma de Mallorca Airport (PMI/LEPA) -   Spain
Phase: Take off
Departure airport:Palma de Mallorca Airport (PMI/LEPA)
Destination airport:Ibiza Airport (IBZ/LEIB)
Investigating agency: CIAIAC
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Top Fly flight ARL-502, a Swearingen SA-227BC Metro III, registration EC-ITP, was preparing to start its takeoff run at Palma de Mallorca Airport, en route to Ibiza, in the early morning hours of 21 May 2004, at 04:52 UTC. It was a cargo flight and aboard the aircraft was a crew of two pilots and a third occupant, also a pilot for the company. The copilot, seated in the right-hand seat, was the pilot flying.
Once authorized by the TWR to take off on runway 06R, the aircraft started its run by accelerating normally under takeoff power and using the Nose Wheel Steering (NWS) system, which the copilot engaged by pushing the system's activation button on the left side of the power lever for the No.1 engine. As the aircraft accelerated, the pilot called out going through 60 kts, meaning they had developed enough IAS for directional control. The copilot released the activation button for the steering system, shortly after which the aircraft started veering toward the right edge of the runway without the crew noticing any power or system fail ure. The copilot pushed hard on the left rudder pedal but the aircraft did not change course. He warned that he was losing control. The captain took the controls and initiated a rejected takeoff. He engaged reverse thrust but was unable to keep the aircraft from leaving the paved surface to the right with a speed of some 90 kt and at an angle of about 120 with respect to the runway. The aircraft veered and skidded on the runway shoulder, turning almost completely around before coming to a stop on a bearing of 220 degrees at a point 135 m away from the runway 06R centerline and some 950 m away from the brake release point.
The crew stopped the engines and feathered the propellers. They exited the aircraft and verified there was no fire, noting only minor damage to the landing gear and to one propeller blade. Damage to the airport infrastructure was limited to a struck runway light and a lifted drain system cover.

The aircraft departed the runway most likely as the result of an uncommanded turn of the nose wheels to the right and their subsequent locking in place.
The fault mechanism, whether mechanical, electrical or hydraulic, which led to the possible malfunction of the NWS system has not been determined.
A contributing factor was the fact that the aircraft was being operated with the NWS system activated despite an Airworthiness Directive prohibiting its use in the aircraft due to its modified state.
Given the average reaction times to the sudden emergency, the crew's actions to correct the aircraft's deviation did not manage to keep the aircraft from departing the right side of the runway.


Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: CIAIAC
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report
Other occurrences involving this aircraft

10 Feb 2011 EC-ITP Flightline, opf. Manx2 6 Cork Airport (ORK) dst

Revision history:

10-Feb-2011 15:22 harro Added

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

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