Event Details

Title:Birdstrike on takeoff, Accident of aircraft BOEING B-737, registration PH-BTC, at Barcelona Airport (Spain), on 28 November 2004
Micro summary:Following a birdstrike on takeoff, the Boeing 737 continued to the destination, where the damage manifested as a loss in lateral control and runway excursion.
Event Time:2004-11-28 at 1740 UTC
File Name:2004-11-28-ES.pdf
Publishing Agency:Civil Aviation Accident and Incident Investigation Commission (CIAIAC)
Publishing Country:Spain
Report number:A-070/2004
Site of event:Barcelona Airport, Spain
Departure:Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Destination:Barcelona International Airport, El Prat de Llobregat, Spain
Airplane Type(s):Boeing 737-406
Flight Phase:Landing
Operator(s):KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
Type of flight:Revenue
Serious Injuries:5
Other Injuries:
Executive Summary:During the takeoff of a scheduled passenger transportation flight from Amsterdam to Barcelona, the aircraft suffered a bird strike in the area of the nose landing gear during rotation. The flight crew informed the ATC and the flight continued without any abnormal indication in the cockpit. During the landing roll at Barcelona, when the nose wheels touched down, the aircraft started deviating to the left of runway 25R. The flight crew applied right rudder, brakes and used the nose wheel steering tiller but could not avoid that the aircraft went off the runway through the unprepared terrain located to the left of runway 25R. The aircraft suffered major damage during that run until it eventually came to a stop close to a wide rain drainage canal located at about 107 m from the runway axis. An emergency evacuation was carried out in which 5 passengers suffered minor injuries.

There was no fire.

The investigation determined that the accident probably happened because during the takeoff a bird strike broke one of the cables of the nose wheel steering system of the aircraft and jammed the other, which made that the nose wheels were rotated to the left when they touched down during landing, causing a veering to the left that could not be arrested by full rudder deflection as the aircraft decelerated. The subsequent application of brakes and other actions by the crew could not avoid that the aircraft went outside the runway surface.

The damages to the aircraft were increased by the condition of the runway strip due to the airport construction works.

Contributing to the breaking of the cable was the fact that the cable was severely worn locally. The wear could be traced back to the incorrect application of grease to the cable system during maintenance. Despite the training and experience of the flight crew, they were unable to quickly recognize the possible cause of the deviation of the aircraft and to keep it on the runway.

Several safety measures were proposed by the airline after the accident, and a total of 11 safety recommendations were issued as a result of the investigation.
Learning Keywords:Operations - Birdstrike
Operations - Evacuation
Operations - Runway Excursion
Operations - Upset - Uncommanded or excessive Yaw
Systems - Landing Gear
Systems - Landing Gear - Nose wheel steering
Consequence - Damage - Airframe or fuselage


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