Aer Arann told to revise landing guidelines after wheel collapse

AER ARANN has been advised to review its maximum crosswind limitations for approaches and landing at Shannon Airport after an incident last July when the nose wheel of one if its aircraft failed on landing.

A preliminary report into the accident by the Department of Transport aviation inspectors has recommended that the airline revise its guidelines for landing when turbulence could be expected at Shannon.

Pilots with Aer Arann were not previously required to consider the gust component of crosswinds in calculating landing limits at Shannon.

Passengers on the flight from Manchester to Shannon were lucky to escape injury when the ATR twin-engine turbo prop aircraft veered off onto the grass after its nose wheel collapsed on making contact with the runway on July 17 last.

There were 21 passengers and four crew on board the aircraft at the time of the incident which occurred on its second attempt at landing at Shannon at 10.21am.

The report by the Air Accident Investigation Unit said the pilot had experienced difficulty in getting the aircraft to settle on the runway on the first attempted landing and had been forced to initiate a go-round.

Inspectors said the nose wheel collapsed on landing the second time which resulted in smoke and steam coming from the aircraft as its scraped along the runway. Substantial damage was caused to the plane including one of its propellers which struck a runway sign.

The AAIU report said the pilot had no directional control of the aircraft over the 1,200m it travelled between touching down and its final stopping point.

Weather conditions at the time reported “occasional moderate turbulence” with average speeds of 24 knots (28mph) and maximum gusts of 32 knots (37mph)

Aer Arann said different crew on the same aircraft had reported difficult landing conditions on the same runway at Shannon on two separate flights on the previous evening.

The AAIU will issue a full report into the incident at a later stage. However, it said preliminary tests had not identified any failure of the aircraft.

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