TIMMINS - A badly-placed bundle of wires was the cause of a dramatic scene at the Timmins airport in September 2014 when an Air Creebec flight was forced to make an emergency touchdown without all of its landing gears.
After more than a year of investigation, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada have released its findings on what caused the malfunction of the twin-engined Beechcraft King A100 plane.
The culprit was a bundle of wires that became snagged in the machinery and prevented the landing gear from lowering, and even managed to disable to backup system.
“The bundle likely snagged on the torque shaft bolts. As the shaft rotated after ‘landing gear down’ was selected, the wire bundle became entangled around the torque shaft and prevented further rotation of the shaft, which consequently halted the landing-gear extension,” concludes the report. “The alternate gear extension system uses the same torque shaft system to extend the landing gear, and so it was disabled as well.”
Some of the wires ran to the plane’s power generators, so when they were damaged by the machinery, the generators were also disabled.
As a consequence of all this, the plane was forced to land at the Victor M. Power Timmins Airport with the landing gears on the nose section only partially extended.
A witness at the scene of the landing told The Daily Press the weight of the speeding plane eventually pushed the wheels back up inside their wheel-wells. When the plane came to a stop, it was resting on its belly.
Immediately five waiting firetrucks began racing out to the runway, where the plane stopped. There was smoke evident in the area of the plane, once it was on the ground, but it was not revealed where the smoke came from.
One witness told The Daily Press that firefighters were preparing to lather the plane with foam, as a safety measure, but said the people began disembarking the plane before that could happen. As it turned out, firefighters did not need to apply any water or foam to the plane.
Transportation Safety Board investigators could not determine for certain when or how the wire bundle managed to shift so much to could catch on the machinery.
Their best guess was that it was accidentally moved when a motor in the landing gear system was replaced by maintenance crews. They only problem with this theory is that the plane had numerous landings after the motor was switched and didn’t have any problems, according to the report.
Since the incident a year ago, the owner of the plane, Air Creebec, performed its own investigation and inspected its two other Beechcraft King A100 planes and found nothing wrong with them. As a precaution, however, the company installed wiring harnesses to make sure the same thing could not happen again. They also contacted other air lines using the same model planes to tell them what had happened.
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The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) investigated this occurrence for the purpose of advancing transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.
Air Creebec Inc.
Beechcraft King Air A100, C-FEYT
Timmins Victor M. Power Airport
26 September 2014
The Air Creebec Inc. Beechcraft King Air A100 aircraft (registration C-FEYT, serial number B-210) was operating as Air Creebec flight 140 on a scheduled flight from Moosonee, Ontario, to Timmins, Ontario, with 2 crew members and 7 passengers on board. While on approach to Timmins, the crew selected “landing gear down”, but did not get an indication in the handle that the landing gear was down and locked. A fly-by at the airport provided visual confirmation that the landing gear was not fully extended. The crew followed the Quick Reference Handbook procedures and selected the alternate landing-gear extension system, but they were unable to lower the landing gear manually. An emergency was declared, and the aircraft landed with only the nose gear partially extended. The aircraft came to rest beyond the end of Runway 28. All occupants evacuated the aircraft through the main entrance door. No fire occurred, and there were no injuries to the occupants. Emergency services were on scene for the evacuation. The accident occurred during daylight hours, at 1740 Eastern Daylight Time.
TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD OF CANADA
In its investigation report (A14O0178) released today, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) found that a malfunctioning landing gear system led to the September 2014 landing accident at Timmins Victor M. Power Airport in Timmins, Ontario.
The aircraft was substantially damaged but there was no post-impact fire, and no injuries to the occupants.
On 26 September 2014, at 1740 Eastern Daylight Time, a Beechcraft King Air A100 was operating as Air Creebec flight 140 on a scheduled flight from Moosonee, Ontario, to Timmins, Ontario, with two crew members and seven passengers on board.
While on approach to Timmins, the crew selected the landing gear down, but did not get an indication light that the landing gear was down and locked.
A fly-by at the airport provided visual confirmation that the landing gear was not fully extended.
The crew attempted to lower the landing gear manually but was unable to do so.
At approximately the same time, indicators illuminated to indicate that both the generators were not functioning.
An emergency was declared, and the aircraft landed with only the nose gear partially extended.
The aircraft came to rest beyond the end of Runway 28.
The investigation revealed that during the extension of the landing gear, a wire bundle became entangled around the landing gear rotating torque shaft, preventing full extension.
The entanglement also prevented the alternate landing gear extension system from working.
The investigation also determined that the wire bundle consisted of wiring for the generator control circuits, and when damaged, disabled both generators.
Following the occurrence, Air Creebec performed its own safety management system investigation and performed inspections on its two other Beechcraft King Air A100 aircraft, and found no faults.
The operator submitted a safety deficiency report to Transport Canada, and also issued a maintenance advisory to its staff to check for proximity of wiring harnesses to surrounding rotating parts.
In addition, Air Creebec contacted other operators with the same type of aircraft and made them aware of the potential for this type of event.