Fatal Nosewheel Landing

By Richard N. Aarons
Source: Business & Commercial Aviation

The Safety Board determined the probable cause(s) of this accident was “the pilot's failure to achieve a stabilized approach, resulting in a nose-first, bounced landing. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's activation of only one thrust reverser, resulting in asymmetrical thrust.”

Stabilized Approach

The Flight Safety Foundation's Approach and Landing Accident Reduction Tool Kit reports that unstabilized approaches were a causal factor in 66% of the approach and landing accidents and serious incidents worldwide in the decade ending in 1997. It determined that “High energy approaches (i.e., high/fast) resulted in loss of aircraft control, runway overruns and runway excursions and contributed to inadequate situation awareness in some CFIT accidents.”

The full report and a checklist on recommended elements of a stabilized approach can be found at www.flightsafety.org/files/alar_bn7-1stablizedappr.pdf (FSF ALAR Briefing Note 7.1 — Stabilized Approach).

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