ASN Aircraft accident Fokker 50 SE-LEZ Catania-Fontanarossa Airport (CTA)
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Saturday 30 April 2016
Type:Silhouette image of generic F50 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Fokker 50
Operated by:Amapola Flyg
On behalf of:Air Vallée
Registration: SE-LEZ
MSN: 20128
First flight: 1988-08-02 (27 years 9 months)
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney Canada PW125B
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 18
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 21
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Catania-Fontanarossa Airport (CTA) (   Italy)
Phase: Landing (LDG)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Rimini Airport (RMI/LIPR), Italy
Destination airport:Catania-Fontanarossa Airport (CTA/LICC), Italy
Air Vallée flight 233 made a nose gear-up landing at Catania-Fontanarossa Airport (CTA), Italy.
The aircraft, a Fokker 50, operated by Amapola Flyg on behalf of Air Vallée, departed Rimini at 08:49 on a domestic service to Catania. The aircraft was approaching runway 08 at Catania Airport when the nose landing gear failed to deploy. The approach was abandoned about 10:37 hours. The airplane climbed to 2900 feet and entered a holding pattern to the east of the airport while the crew tried to troubleshoot the problem.
Finally a forced landing was carried out on runway 08 at 11:34 with the nose gear doors open but the nose gear retracted.

Probable Cause:

The accident was caused by the failure of the nose landing gear (nose gear up) due to over-extension of the shock absorber which caused interference between the tires and the NLG compartment and locked the NLG in a retracted position.
The over-extension was caused by the incorrect installation of some internal components of the shock absorber during the replacement of the internal seals the day before the accident.

The following factors contributed significantly to the improper activity conducted at maintenance:
- the insufficient experience of technical personnel in carrying out the maintenance tasks conducted on the NLG;
- the lack of controls on the operations carried out, deemed unnecessary by the CAMO engineering department;
- the lack of definition of roles and tasks during the planning phase of the maintenance work;
- the operational pressure on maintenance personnel, arising from the need to conclude maintenance operations quickly in order not to penalize the management of the aircraft;
- the insufficient clarity and lack of sensitive information in the maintenance tasks and related figures contained in the AMM, regarding the replacement of internal shock absorber seals, subsequently made clearer by the manufacturer;
- the reported black and white printing of the applied AMM procedures, which could have made the warnings in the manual barely legible.

Accident investigation:

Investigating agency: ANSV Italy
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 5 years and 5 months
Accident number: final report
Download report: Final report

Wrong installation of parts
Gear-up landing
Runway mishap



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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 Rimini Airport to Catania-Fontanarossa Airport as the crow flies is 752 km (470 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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