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Last updated: 28 November 2020
Status:Final
Date:Tuesday 17 April 2018
Time:13:05
Type:Silhouette image of generic DH8D model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
de Havilland Canada DHC-8-402Q Dash 8
Operator:Flybe
Registration: G-JECX
C/n / msn: 4155
First flight: 2007-02-22 (11 years 2 months)
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney Canada PW150A
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 5
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 55
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 60
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Newquay-Cornwall Airport (NQY) (   United Kingdom)
Phase: Landing (LDG)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Manchester International Airport (MAN/EGCC), United Kingdom
Destination airport:Newquay-Cornwall Airport (NQY/EGHQ), United Kingdom
Flightnumber:BE353
Narrative:
Flybe flight 353 suffered a tailstrike accident on landing at Newquay Airport, U.K.
The aircraft, a DHC-8-400 departed one hour and twenty minutes late from Manchester. The forecast weather at Newquay was for overcast cloud at 400 - 500 ft with a gusty crosswind of approximately 20 kt. The co-pilot was pilot flying for the Newquay sector.
The takeoff, cruise and descent were uneventful. During the cruise the commander obtained updated weather via the ATIS for Newquay, which gave landing runway 12, the surface wind 210/16 and cloud broken at 400 ft. The flight crew briefed for the approach, discussing the threat of turbulence on final and the potential for a go-around. The pilots planned to use flap 15 for the final approach because no gusts were reported on the ATIS, and to set the propeller condition levers to max in case a go-around was required.
The aircraft was established on final for runway 12 at 8 nm and the co-pilot disconnected the autopilot at approximately 500 ft. At approximately 400 ft, the aircraft became displaced from the runway centreline and the co-pilot elected to go around. The goaround was uneventful and the aircraft was repositioned for a second approach. During the downwind leg the commander made a PA to reassure the passengers then briefed the co-pilot to keep the autopilot engaged until slightly later in the approach and to ensure the speed remained between the VREF and VCLIMB speed bugs.
The second approach was stable until approximately 50 ft. The tower gave the surface wind as 190°/20 kt. At approximately 50 ft the co-pilot reduced power to flight idle to control the airspeed, although neither pilot was aware that the power had been reduced this much. At approximately 30 ft above the runway, the aircraft started to sink rapidly and the commander called "power, power, power". The co-pilot increased power and pitched up to arrest the rate of descent, but the aircraft landed firmly, striking its tail on the runway. The aircraft bounced and the commander took control. Observing the ‘TOUCHED RUNWAY’ light he elected to continue the landing. The aircraft landed and taxied to the gate without further incident. Subsequently one cabin crew member reported minor back pain. No other injuries were reported.
Damage was found to several skin panels, frames, stringers and aft pressure bulkhead.

Probable Cause:

Conclusion: "The tailstrike occurred because the pilot flying reacted instinctively to the high sink rate by increasing pitch attitude and power, rather than increasing power only. The aircraft manufacturer recommends that operators provide annual recurrent training in pitch awareness for flight crew to establish the correct response to high sink rate near the ground."

Accident investigation:
cover
Investigating agency: AAIB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 205 days (7 months)
Accident number: EW/G2018/04/09
Download report: Final report

Classification:
Tailstrike
Runway mishap

Photos

photo of DHC-8-402Q-Dash-8-G-JECX
accident date: 17-04-2018
type: de Havilland Canada DHC-8-402Q Dash 8
registration: G-JECX
photo of DHC-8-402Q-Dash-8-G-JECX
 

Map
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Manchester International Airport to Newquay-Cornwall Airport as the crow flies is 371 km (232 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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