Belfast Telegraph

Crash plane had been involved in similar accident in 2012

By Claire Williamson

A plane that crash-landed due to faulty landing gear after a flight from Belfast had been involved in a similar accident in 2012, an investigation has revealed.

Doncaster Sheffield Robin Hood airport was closed for several hours during the height of the holiday season last month after the landing gear on the left side of a BAE Systems Jetstream 31 plane collapsed after it landed.

The LinksAir-operated plane slid along the runway and came to rest on grass when the left landing gear detached from its mounts. The single passenger and two crew members were not injured.

A report by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) has revealed that the same aircraft was involved in a near-identical crash on March 8, 2012.

On that occasion, it suffered a failure to its right main landing gear as it landed at Isle of Man Airport. The aircraft was then operated by airline Manx2, and had a different registration.

The AAIB said that its investigation into the 2012 incident had led to a safety recommendation to the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) about identifying cracks on landing gear fitted to Jetstream 31s. Despite the warning, the AAIB said that inspections of the aircraft had failed to prevent the second crash on August 15.

In a special bulletin on the latest crash, the AAIB said preliminary findings indicated that stress corrosion cracking at the top of the left landing gear leg had led to the collapse.

It also said ground marks on the runways indicated that the landing gear failed eight seconds after touchdown.

It said the preliminary findings were significant "because the same aircraft, operating under a different registration, was involved in a similar accident in 2012 during which the right main landing gear failed".

Further analysis is required to determined how long the crack in the landing gear took to grow to failure, the AAIB said.

It stated: "Given the similarities of the failure to that which occurred on G-CCPW, it is evident that the inspections of and the modifications to the left main landing gear of G-GAVA were not effective in preventing this accident."

It recommended that EASA takes action to assure the continued airworthiness of the Jetstream 31 main landing gear legs, and it ensures the plane is subject to effective inspections that will detect cracking and prevent failure of the landing gear legs.

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