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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 238008
Last updated: 20 January 2022
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Date:04-JUN-2019
Time:18:46 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic B734 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 737-4Q8 (SF)
Owner/operator:West Atlantic UK
Registration: G-JMCR
MSN: 25372/2280
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: None
Category:Serious incident
Location:near Brussel-Zaventem Airport (BRU/EBBR) -   Belgium
Phase: En route
Nature:Cargo
Departure airport:Oslo-Gardermoen Airport (OSL/ENGM)
Destination airport:Brussel-Zaventem Airport (BRU/EBBR)
Investigating agency: AAIB
Narrative:
West Atlantic UK flight QY3319 was en route from Oslo Gardermoen Airport, Norway to Brussels National Airport, Belgium with the commander, a company line training captain, in the right seat as the PM and the co-pilot, who was completing his command upgrade line training, in the left seat as PF. The weather was forecast to be thundery in the Brussels area and the pilots heard ATC directing other aircraft around active thunderstorms as they approached the airport. They could also see thunderstorm activity in the vicinity of the airfield but the area towards the south-east was clear.
After listening to ATIS, they configured the aircraft for an ILS approach with an automated landing to runway 25R. As part of the approach brief, which was carried out prior to the start of the descent, they set the speed bugs for a flap 40° landing and discussed the possible threats they might encounter.
At 18:46 hrs, during the descent, the pilots heard a noise which they described as a “large electrical clunk”. This was accompanied by the loss of the primary EFIS screens on the left side of the cockpit and the disconnection of the autopilot and autothrottle. The commander immediately took control as PF and flew the remainder of the flight manually, with the co-pilot assuming the role of PM. ATC advised that there were no secondary radar returns from the aircraft and at 18:48 hrs, while descending through 8,400 ft, the PM requested priority for approach to runway 25R and declared a PAN.
The pilots established that, in addition to the loss of the EFIS screens, both control display units for the Flight Management Computer (FMC) were inoperative and several caution and advisory warnings had illuminated. These included: the No 1 aft fuel pump low pressure; the pressurisation system autofail and standby; the left side pitot static system; l alpha vane and yaw damper. The back lighting for the overhead panel was not working and no cautions or advisories had illuminated for the electrical systems. Given the expected weather around the airport, the pilots discussed the threats in relation to flying a manual ILS approach. As the flight could be completed in VMC, the standby instruments and the PF’s EFIS were serviceable, there was no degradation in the other aircraft systems and they had already briefed and prepared the aircraft for landing, they decided to continue and land at Brussels.
At 18:50 hrs, the PM advised ATC that the aircraft had suffered a “severe electrical issue” and requested immediate vectors for an ILS approach to runway 25R. The PM upgraded the PAN to a MAYDAY and the pilots carried out the landing checks. ATC advised that the aircraft was at 17 nm, cleared it onto base leg and to descend to an altitude of 2,000 ft. They subsequently advised the pilots that the aircraft was 6 nm from the threshold; the PM responded that since they were at an altitude of 3,500 ft, they would need more than 6 nm. ATC instructed them to “fly through the localiser”. However, as they approached the extended centre line, the PM reported that they were visual with the runway and ATC gave permission to commence a visual approach.
The pilots reported they selected 40° flap, intercepted the glideslope from above and were stable at between 1,000 and 1,500 ft. ATC cleared the aircraft to land at 18:55 hrs and advised that the surface wind was 5-8 kt from 230º. At around this time the PF noticed that the Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS) was not working. The pilots reported that when they commenced the approach, they saw “a big cell at the end of the runway curving round to the north. It was fairly active with a wall of water and lightning strikes every 20 seconds”, but the weather was clear to the south of the airfield. Consequently, the PM requested an immediate left turn in the event of a missed approach. However, at about 300 ft agl and 1 nm, the pilots lost visual references as they entered a heavy rain shower so the PF executed a go-around by estimating the amount of thrust required. The pilots reported that they momentarily felt a “sinking in the air” and the aircraft was initially slow to accelerate and establish a positive rate of climb before achieving a climb rate of 2,500 to 3,000 fpm. The PF flew the missed approach and orbited visually to the south-east. At this point the PM selected the transponder to ATC 2, which restored the secondary radar return enabling ATC to confirm the position and altitude of the aircraft.
While orbiting the pilots reviewed the effect of the electrical failure and associated indication. The PM noted that the Transfer Bus No 1 Normal circuit breaker (C819) was open and identified the most appropriate procedure from the Quick Reference Handbook (QRH) was ‘TRANSFER BUS OFF’. This procedure had a pre-condition that the transfer bus off caution should be illuminated; however, as it had not illuminated the pilots decided not to use this procedure. They also decided not to reset the circuit breaker as the aircraft had sufficient systems functioning to enable a safe landing. They considered a diversion but decided against it since the aircraft was in a stable state, there was no urgency, and there was enough fuel onboard to hold until the weather at Brussels improved. The PM advised ATC of the situation, that they had “lost a lot of systems” and were reliant upon basic navigation only. Once ATC reported that the weather had cleared, the pilots requested a visual approach. The aircraft landed at 19:22 hrs and on touchdown the left intercom, VHF 1 radio, and both engine N2 and EGT gauges stopped working.

Sources:

AAIB

Accident investigation:
cover
  
Investigating agency: AAIB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year 1 month
Download report: Final report
Other occurrences involving this aircraft

12 Oct 2018 G-JMCR West Atlantic UK 0 en-route to East Midlands Airport non


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
13-Jul-2020 17:38 harro Added
13-Jul-2020 17:41 harro Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Location, Phase, Narrative, Accident report, ]

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