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Last updated: 17 November 2019
Status:Final
Date:Friday 15 September 2017
Time:09:07
Type:Silhouette image of generic B738 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 737-8AS (WL)
Operator:Ryanair
Registration: EI-DLV
C/n / msn: 33598/2063
First flight: 2006-09-15 (11 years )
Engines: 2 CFMI CFM56-7B26
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 6
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 184
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 190
Aircraft damage: Minor
Aircraft fate: Repaired
Location:London-Stansted Airport (STN) (   United Kingdom)
Phase: Takeoff (TOF)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:London-Stansted Airport (STN/EGSS), United Kingdom
Destination airport:København-Kastrup Airport (CPH/EKCH), Denmark
Flightnumber:FR7384
Narrative:
Ryanair flight 7384, a Boeing 737-800, was pushed back off Stand 43R at London-Stansted Airport, with the commander acting as pilot flying, and was cleared to taxi via taxiway C to holding point S1 for runway 22.
The crew reported there was nothing abnormal during the taxi and, on reaching S1, they held in turn before being cleared by ATC to line up and hold. As the aircraft entered the runway, ATC cleared the crew to take off. The commander taxied the nose of the aircraft beyond the centreline to line up on the centre of the runway for a rolling takeoff. As he did so, the flight crew heard a noise similar to the nosewheels passing over a runway centre light. The same noise was heard by the two cabin crew members at the front of the cabin.
Neither the pilots nor the two cabin crew members considered the noise to be anything out of the ordinary.
The commander reported that during the takeoff roll, despite there only being a light wind at the time, he used aileron and rudder to keep the aircraft straight on the centreline, as if the aircraft was experiencing a crosswind from the right. The takeoff otherwise appeared normal to the flight crew and, after rotation, the gear was raised with no apparent problems.
They continued with the CLN 1E departure given by ATC, before being given a radar heading and climb to FL170.
An aircraft operating on a different radio frequency to EI-DLV and waiting at the S1 hold, informed ATC that, as EI-DLV had started its takeoff roll, they had seen one of the nosewheels depart the aircraft and be blown off the runway into the area behind the threshold. They could also see what appeared to be a part of the aircraft on the runway.
ATC ordered a check of the runway and the aircraft parts were recovered. When ATC notified EI-DLV of what had happened, the aircraft was passing about FL110. The crew entered a hold whilst they assessed the situation. The most appropriate guidance they could find in the aircraft manuals was for ‘landing with a flat tyre’ in the Flight Crew Training Manual, which they elected to follow. The crew decided their best option was to return to Stansted, a decision agreed when they contacted the company’s engineering base at the airport by radio. The flight crew informed ATC of their intention to return to Stansted and the commander gave the cabin supervisor an emergency brief before advising the passengers of the situation over the PA.
Having prepared the aircraft for the approach, the crew was cleared by ATC to descend and head towards the ABBOT holding and arrival point for Stansted. Shortly afterwards ATC contacted the crew to inform them that the aircraft operator had requested that the aircraft now divert to either East Midlands or Prestwick, rather than Stansted. As this conflicted with the request from the engineering base, on arrival at ABBOT the crew took up the hold in order to contact the company Operations Department by radio via their ground handling agent at Stansted. The Operations Department confirmed the new diversion preferences and the crew determined they had sufficient fuel to divert to East Midlands. The crew then re-briefed and set the aircraft up for a diversion to East Midlands before advising ATC of the new diversion request, at which time they also declared a PAN.
The weather report for East Midlands was for light winds, good visibility and a broken cloud base of 3,700 feet aal.
ATC gave the crew vectors to establish on the ILS for runway 27 at East Midlands Airport.
When established on the approach, the crew flew a CAT 1 ILS, lowering the gear early; the gear operated normally and gave the normal indications. They elected to use full flaps (flaps 40) for landing to give a lower touchdown speed and calculated that autobrake 2 was the lowest usable autobrake selection they could use, as advised in the guidance they had consulted earlier. The commander disengaged the autopilot just below 500 feet aal and, on touchdown, lowered the nosewheel as gently as possible onto the runway. He reported the landing appeared normal and that he stopped the aircraft on the runway. The fire service attended quickly; they inspected the aircraft and confirmed that one of the nosewheels was missing. The commander decided against taxiing the aircraft off the runway as the taxiway entrances ahead of them were all at 90° to the runway and he was concerned about putting stress on the remaining wheel. The engines were shut down and the passengers were deplaned onto buses before the aircraft was towed to a stand.

Conclusion:
The nosewheel was found to have separated from the aircraft because the NLG axle had failed at the left inboard journal. The failure was caused by a crack that had initiated near the 6 o’clock position of the journal and had then propagated over time via fatigue and SCC until the remaining material failed in overload. The crack was the result of heat-induced cracking and material property changes caused by abusive grinding of the chrome plate during the part’s last overhaul.
The cause of the abusive grinding could not be determined, but the abusive grinding would probably have been identified if a post-grinding Barkhausen inspection had been carried out.

Accident investigation:
cover
Investigating agency: AAIB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 years
Accident number: EW/C2017/09/04
Download report: Final report

Classification:



Photos

photo of Boeing-737-8AS-EI-DLV
accident date: 15-09-2017
type: Boeing 737-8AS (WL)
registration: EI-DLV
 

Map
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 London-Stansted Airport to København-Kastrup Airport as the crow flies is 908 km (567 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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