Event Details

Title:Hard landing, Report on the accident to Boeing MD11 B-150 at Hong Kong International Airport on 22 August 1999
Micro summary:A hard landing during foul weather results in the failure of the main landing gear and right wing.
Event Time:1999-08-22 at 1043 UTC (1843 local)
File Name:1999-08-22-HK.pdf
Publishing Agency:Civil Aviation Department Hong Kong, Accident Investigation Division
Publishing Country:Hong Kong
Report number:1/2004
Site of event:Landing, Hong Kong International Airport, China
Departure:Bangkok International Airport (Don Muang), Bangkok, Thailand
Destination:Hong Kong International Airport (Check Lap Kok Airport), Hong Kong, China
Airplane Type(s):McDonnell Douglas MD-11
Flight Phase:Landing
Operator(s):China Airlines
Type of flight:Revenue
Serious Injuries:50
Other Injuries:0
Executive Summary:At the time of the accident, Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) was affected by weather associated with a tropical cyclone centred approximately 50 kilometres to the north east. At the airport there was a strong gusting wind from the northwest with heavy rain, resulting in a wet runway. The Automatic Terminal Information Service (ATIS) included a warning to pilots to expect significant windshear and severe turbulence on the approach.

The aeroplane carried out an Instrument Landing System approach to Runway 25 Left (RW 25L). After becoming visual with the runway at approximately 700 feet, the commander then disconnected the autopilot but left the autothrottle system engaged. The aeroplane continued to track the extended runway centreline, but descended and stabilised slightly low on the glide-slope until the normal flare height was reached. Although an attempt was made to flare the aeroplane, this did not arrest the rate of descent and resulted in an extremely hard impact with the runway in a slightly right wing-down attitude, at an estimated landing weight of 443 lbs (201 kg) below maximum landing weight. This was followed by collapse of the right main landing gear, separation of the right wing, an outbreak of fire and an uncontrollable roll and yaw to the right. The aeroplane ended up in an inverted, reversed position on a grass area just to the right of the runway.

Rescue vehicles quickly arrived on the scene and suppressed the fire on and in the vicinity of the aeroplane, allowing rescue of the passengers and crew to progress in very difficult conditions. Two passengers rescued from the wreckage were certified dead on arrival at hospital and one passenger died five days later in hospital. A total of 219 persons, including crewmembers, were admitted to hospital, of whom 50 were seriously injured and 153 sustained minor injuries.

The investigation team identified the cause of the accident as the commanderís inability to arrest the high rate of descent existing at 50 ft Radio Altitude (RA).

Other probable and possible contributory causes are listed at paragraphs 3.2.2 and 3.2.3 of the report.

During the course of the investigation, ten safety recommendations were made and are summarised at paragraph 4 of the report.
Learning Keywords:Operations - Hard Landing
Operations - Runway Excursion
Consequence - Damage - Airframe or fuselage
Consequence - Hull Loss
Close match:Hard landing, Alitalia Airlines, McDonnell-Douglas DC-8-62, I-DIWZ (Italian Registry), John F. Kennedy International Airport, Jamaica, New York, September 15, 1970


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