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Friday, 6 May 2011

Airbus Updates No.214

Accident: BH Air A320 at Verona on Sep 1st 2009, tail strike on takeoff

By Simon Hradecky, created Thursday, May 5th 2011 13:53Z, last updated Thursday, May 5th 2011 13:55Z
The Italian ANSV reported in their preliminary report, that the flight had originated in Hurghada (Egypt) and was destined for Rome Fiuminichino via an intermediate stop in Verona.

At the time of departure from Hurghada the aircraft carried 77 passengers destined for Verona and 87 passengers for Rome. The passengers to Verona were mainly seated in the forward and central cabin, the passengers to Rome mainly in the central to aft cabin. The luggage for Verona had been stowed in the forward cargo compartment and the luggage for Rome in the aft cargo compartment.

After arrival in Verona the passengers for Verona disembarked and their luggage was unloaded, the passengers to Rome kept their seats and their luggage was not re-distributed.

A load and trim sheet was produced at Verona that showed the remaining passengers to Rome in different seat allocation than on the leg Hurghada-Verona. This was not detected by the crew nor did the crew consider to re-distribute the passengers.

The crew decided that no re-fuelling was necessary.

During the takeoff, as soon as the power levers were advanced for FLEX takeoff, the aircraft started an uncommanded early rotation causing a tail strike, the takeoff however was continued with the flight controls degradated to alternate and direct law. The aircraft became airborne at 113 KIAS, a stall warning activated immediately after takeoff and lasted for 5 seconds. The crew continued the departure and the climb until a master caution indicating a cabin pressurization fault activated, then the crew decided to return to Verona.

Inspections revealed substantial structural damage to the lower part of the tail fuselage compromising the pressurized compartment.

The preliminary investigation noted following findings:
- all baggage and cargo were located in the after (nr. 3) cargo compartment in accordance with the Load and Trim sheet;

- the 87 passengers with final destination Rome Fiumicino were seated as per their initial seat assignment given at Hurgada and not in accordance with the Load and Trim sheet prepared in Verona;

- the Load and Trim sheet approved by the captain, was prepared by Verona handling agent in order to respect the new mass and balance configuration requiring the remaining passengers seating to be considerably different from their seat assignment in the incoming flight

- the captain did not consider or did not notice that, based on the Load and Trim sheet, the remaining passengers should have been distributed in order to equally balance their seating on board in the three cabin areas; this resulted in having the passengers seated so as to occupy all the after cabin seats with only few passengers seated in the central and forward cabin

- the center of gravity position calculated considering the effective distribution of passengers and cargo on board, was outside the after operational envelope limit for takeoff.

Two safety recommendations were issued as result of the investigation so far.

By Simon Hradecky, created Tuesday, Sep 1st 2009 22:09Z, last updated Wednesday, Sep 2nd 2009 09:55Z

A BH Balkan Holidays Air Airbus A320-200 on behalf of Air Vallee, registration LZ-BHC performing flight DO-5379 from Verona to Rome Fiumicino (Italy), struck its tail onto the runway in Verona while becoming airborne. The crew decided to return to Verona.

The Italian National Agency for Aviation Safety (ANSV) launched an investigation stating, that the damage to the airplane prompted the agency to rate the occurrence an accident. According to ANSV the airplane was doing Verona-Rome-Hurghada.

According to the airport of Rome Fiumicino the airplane was due to arrive from Hurghada via an intermediate stop in Verona.

Sources at Verona Airport said, that the luggage of those passengers getting off at the stopover in Verona (arriving from Hurghada) had all been stored in the forward luggage hold, while luggage of passengers carrying on to Rome was in the rear luggage hold. The forward hold was therefore emptied during the stopover.

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