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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 186880
Last updated: 27 June 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic B738 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 737-8FE (WL)
Owner/operator:Virgin Australia
Registration: VH-YIW
MSN: 40700/5085
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants:
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Minor
Location:Apia-Faleolo International Airport (APW/NSFA) -   Samoa
Phase: Landing
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Auckland International Airport (AKL/NZAA)
Destination airport:Apia-Faleolo Airport (APW/NSFA)
A Virgin Australia Boeing 737-800 aircraft, registered VH-YIW, was being operated as flight VA91 from Auckland, New Zealand to Apia, Samoa. During the final approach and landing at Faleolo International Airport, the weather conditions consisted of heavy rain and gusting winds. The crew reported touching down firmly, making first contact on the right main gear.
The return flight to Auckland was cancelled and the airplane was ferried to Auckland as flight VA9552 on April 24.
On the morning of April 25 the aircraft operated flight VA152 from Auckland to Brisbane, Australia. The following day, the incident airplane operated a return trip from Brisbane to Port Moresby, arriving at back at Brisbane at 16:44 local time.

A routine flight data review by Virgin Australia on 26 April 2016 identified that a firm landing had taken place, consistent with the landing at Apia. The aircraft was inspected and a pod strike was identified on the No. 2 (right) engine.

The ATSB was notified of the hard landing on 26 April 2016 and initiated an investigation.
The incident aircraft was still on the ground at Brisbane by 30 April 16.

The investigation identified the following contributory factors:
The aircraft drifted left during short final in heavy rain on an approach at night. The pilot flying started to correct the drift, however the aircraft was not flared and the wings were not level as it touched down. This led to the nose and right wing being low, resulting in an engine nacelle strike.
Due to heavy rain, darkness and limited visual cues, the flight crew did not detect the aircraft's banked, nose-low attitude immediately prior to landing which increased the likelihood of an engine nacelle strike.
The operatorís pre-flight external inspection procedure mandated that flight crew check under the engine nacelle for damage. This was not routinely done by flight crew and not included in the flight crew training material.
Although the operator had a maintenance task card for daily inspections of the Boeing 737, it did not contain a specific requirement to inspect underneath the engine nacelle. This contributed to the damage to the right engine nacelle not being identified during in post-occurrence maintenance inspections.
A further risk factor was:
Due to limited sleep in the previous 24 hours, the captain was probably experiencing a level of fatigue that has been demonstrated to adversely influence performance.




Photo of VH-YIW courtesy

Adelaide - International (YPAD / ADL)
7 May 2021; (c) Gavin Hughes

Revision history:

30-Apr-2016 19:54 harro Added
30-Apr-2016 19:58 harro Updated [Time, Source, Narrative]
10-Aug-2020 19:40 Aerossurance Updated [Source, Narrative]
10-Aug-2020 21:41 Aerossurance Updated [Embed code]

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