Flying Cheap

Incident - June 11, 2009 - Atlanta, Ga.

The flight, operated by Atlantic Southeast Airlines, was scheduled to depart from Columbus, Ga. en route to Atlanta,Ga..

Fatalities 0
Serious injuries0
Minor injuries0
Source: National Transportation Safety Board accident database system (ADMS2000), last updated Jan 1, 2010

Factual Narrative

On June 11, 2009, about 1840 eastern daylight time, a Bombardier CL600-2B19, N857AS, operating as Delta Connection flight 5414, landed with the left main landing gear partially extended at the Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Atlanta, Georgia. The airplane was operated by Atlantic Southeast Airlines (ASA). The airline transport rated pilot, commercial rated co-pilot, one flight attendant, and 19 passengers were not injured. The airplane received minor damage. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time, and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 121 flight. The flight originated at Columbus, Georgia at 1725.

While configuring the airplane for landing, the flight crew observed a landing gear disagree message, and the left main gear indicated that it was not down and locked. The Quick Reference Handbook (QRH) procedures were accomplished, which included cycling the landing gear handle and the use of the alternate gear extension (manual release) system. The left main gear continued to indicate that it was not down and locked. A flight crew on a parallel approach confirmed that the left main gear was not extended. The captain declared an emergency and the airplane landed on runway 27R. The captain used right aileron to keep the left wing up as long as possible. The left wing eventually dropped to the runway and the airplane came to a stop at the runway’s left edge. The captain commanded an evacuation and all passengers departed the airplane using the left and right forward doors.

Runway ground scars and airport surveillance video show that the airplane touched down approximately 3,600 feet down the 11,890-foot long runway, adjacent to taxiway Juliet. The airplane traveled approximately 3,000 feet and came to rest with the nose gear and left wing tip in the grass on the left edge of the runway, adjacent to taxiway Sierra.

Examination of the airplane prior to recovery revealed that the left main landing gear was partially extended from the wheel well, with the outboard tire visible and the inboard tire inside the well. Scraping damage was noted on the left wing flaps, flap fairings, flap actuation arms, and the left wing tip. A recovery team from Delta Air Lines assisted in removing the airplane from the runway. As the airplane was lifted with air bags, the left main gear remained stationary in the partially extended position. The gear could not be lowered by manually pushing on the gear, and there were no physical obstructions noted. A hydraulic line to the landing gear actuator was removed, and the gear lowered into the extended position. The gear was then pinned and the airplane was towed to the ASA maintenance hangar for further examination.

On June 12-18, 2009, an examination of the landing gear system was accomplished at the ASA maintenance facility in Atlanta, Georgia. All components of the left main landing gear system were examined for deformation, discoloration, wear, and excessive play. No abnormal conditions were noted that would result in a failure of the landing gear to extend. Functional checks of the normal and manual gear extension and retraction system were accomplished, including multiple gear up/down cycles. The examination failed to duplicate the incident conditions, and the gear consistently extended and retracted normally without hesitation or binding.

The following components were removed for examination at a later date: left main landing gear sidebrace actuator, uplock, main landing gear assembly, auxiliary actuator, gear door and hinge, manual release handle, and related system valves. A sample of hydraulic fluid was also recovered for analysis.

The 1852 weather observation for ATL included the following: few clouds at 3,500 feet, broken clouds at 25,000 feet, surface winds from 280 degrees at 7 knots, 10 statute miles visibility, temperature 28 degrees Celsius, dew point 21 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 29.88 inches of mercury.

Parties to the investigation include the Federal Aviation Administration, ASA, the Air Line Pilots Association, Bombardier, and Messier-Dowty.

Source: National Transportation Safety Board accident database system (ADMS2000), last updated Jan 1, 2010