Incident: China Eastern A320 at Wenzhou on Mar 20th 2011, clipped trees on approach
|By Simon Hradecky, created Wednesday, Apr 27th 2011 10:18Z, last updated Wednesday, Apr 27th 2011 10:47Z |
The crew of a China Eastern Airlines Airbus A320-200, registration B-2400 performing flight MU-5577 from Shanghai Hongqiao to Wenzhou (China), had prepared for an ILS/DME runway 03 approach to Wenzhou based on ATIS broadcast. Upon initial contact with Wenzhou approach the crew was told however that winds had changed and runway 21 was now in use, the aircraft was subsequently cleared for the VOR/DME approach to runway 21. On tower the crew was reminded by tower that their minimum descent altitude (MDA) was 120 meters/394 feet (116 meters/381 feet AGL). Upon reaching MDA the crew had visual contact with the runway established, continued the approach still on autopilot and descended below MDA, but then lost visual contact. At the 50 feet call by GPWS both crew were able to see the ground but did not see the runway, the first officer called go-around twice, the captain disengaged the autopilot and initiated a go-around at around 12:10L (04:10Z). The airplane climbed out, positioned for another approach and landed safely.
A post flight inspection found scratch marks on the right main landing gear, slats and flaps of right main wing and the inlet of the right hand engine (CFM-56). An inspection of the right hand engine revaled damage (dents sized up to 0.2 mm) to all 36 fan blades, scratch marks (13cm in length) at and twigs embedded in the oil discharge.
Following cleaning, thorough examination of the airframe, borescopic inspection and repairs of the right engine the aircraft was able to return to service 6 days later.
China's Civil Aviation Authority (CAAC) reported that a low level cloud bank with cloud ceiling at 90 meters/295 feet MSL was moving inland from the sea causing the visibility to drop below 2000 meters. The autopilot was disconnected at an altitude of 104 feet (radar height 38 feet) and a go-around initiated, the radar height reduced to 10 feet until the airplane began to climb again. The CAAC said, that the crew did not immediately discontinue the approach after losing visual reference but tried their luck by continuing on autopilot until the "50 feet" call, only then the go-around was initiated. Due to the late decision by the crew the right hand wing, right hand engine and right hand main gear impacted and clipped treetops outside the airport perimeter. An investigation of the serious incident is under way.
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