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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 191575
Last updated: 16 September 2019
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Type:Silhouette image of generic DH8A model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
de Havilland Canada DHC-8-103 Dash 8
Registration: LN-WIU
C/n / msn: 378
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 38
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: None
Category:Serious incident
Location:near Helle-Svolvær Airport (ENSH) -   Norway
Phase: Approach
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Bodø Airport (ENBO)
Destination airport:Helle-Svolvær Airport (ENSH)
Investigating agency: AIBN
Widerøe flight WF814 was a domestic service from Bodø to Helle in Norway and operated in the hours of darkness.
The aircraft, a DHC-8-100, was on approach to Helle when it suddenly had a significant loss of both speed and altitude. The flight crew regained control, but the airplane came very low (83 ft (25 m) above ground). During the recovery the airplane was exposed to high g-force and the engine torque limits were exceeded. The crew aborted the approach and continued to Leknes Airport where a normal landing was performed.

The AIBN investigation indicates that the airplane at low altitude was exposed to significant wind shear (microburst), probably from a Cumulonimbus cloud (CB) in the area.

The Accident Investigation Board has, as part of this investigation, in particular focused on risk management and safety margins in connection with circling approaches in darkness. No obvious systemic failures or other deficiencies that could have influenced on the chain of events or causal factors was identified.

At one point during the chain of events, the First Officer took over the flight controls. The Commander did not oppose this. Apart from agreeing that this happened, the crew has given, in part, different descriptions of the chain of events. Based on the available facts, the Accident Investigation Board has not been able to determine neither which pilot did what, exactly when, and in which order, nor the effects of each action, seen in isolation. It has therefore not been possible to draw any solid conclusions about the significance of the actions of the first officer. The collective actions of the crew did, however, most likely lead to a recovery that was initiated in time to prevent the airplane from colliding with the ground.

The maneuvering to regain control was executed with sparse visual references and without a visible horizon. This investigation has revealed that the Commander was exposed to conditions that could provoke a somatogravic illusion. The Accident Investigation Board has, however, not found evidence to conclude that a spatial disorientation, if any, did have any effect on the Commanders handling of the wind shear.

This incident is an important reminder of the vulnerability connected to maneuvering low above the terrain with sparse visual references in darkness and turbulent air. It is also a reminder of the fact that operators and pilots with thorough knowledge of local conditions, experience and training beyond the regulatory minimum standards would be more capable of handling critical situations like this.



Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: AIBN
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report

Revision history:

23-Nov-2016 20:15 harro Added
23-Nov-2016 20:21 harro Updated [Embed code]

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