Thursday, August 03, 2017

Commutair on behalf of United Express, de Havilland Canada DHC-8-202Q Dash 8, N366PH: Accident occurred September 24, 2016 at Washington-Dulles International Airport (KIAD), Dulles, Loudoun County, Virginia

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Washington, District of Columbia

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Dulles, VA
Accident Number: DCA16CA226
Date & Time:09/24/2016, 1015 EDT
Registration: N366PH
Aircraft: BOMBARDIER INC DHC 8 202
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Sys/Comp malf/fail (non-power)
Injuries: 24 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 121: Air Carrier - Scheduled


On September 24 2016, at about 1015 PM EDT, Commutair flight 4919, a De Havilland Dash 8-200, N366PH, performed a nose gear up landing on runway 1R after the nose gear would not fully extend during approach to Washington Dulles International Airport (KIAD), Dulles, Virginia. The passengers were evacuated via exit doors on the runway. There were no injuries to the 21 passengers and 3 crew members and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The flight was operating under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 121 as a regularly scheduled passenger flight from Albany International Airport (KALB), Albany, New York to KIAD.

According to the operator, the airplane was scheduled for maintenance during an overnight period on the evening before the accident flight at the Albany Maintenance Hangar Facility at KALB. As part of the scheduled maintenance, a frangible towing fuse in the nose landing gear mechanism was removed and replaced. The aircraft was released from maintenance and signed off for revenue service on the morning of the accident flight.

According to the flight crew, the flight was uneventful until the final approach phase when they were configuring the airplane for landing at KIAD. After selecting the gear down, both main landing gear indicated down and locked but the nose gear indicated that the gear doors remained open and that the gear was unsafe. The flight crew then retracted the main landing gear and climbed to 3000 feet.

While at altitude, the flight crew attempted to lower the gear a second time but the same result was indicated. The flight crew then performed the manual gear extension, but the nose gear still failed to extend. The flight conducted a low pass of the airport and ground personnel confirmed that the main landing gear were down, but the nose gear was retracted with the doors open. The flight crew climbed back to 3,000 feet, declared an emergency and requested airport emergency vehicles standby.

During the landing roll, the nose of the airplane contacted the runway surface and the captain shut down the engines after the airplane came to a stop and called for an evacuation. None of the passengers or crew were injured.

Examination of the airplane found substantial damage to the airplane skin and forward pressure vessel as a result of the contact with the runway. Inspection of the nose gear system found that the frangible towing fuse, which was replaced before the flight, was incorrectly installed. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
incorrect installation of the frangible towing fuse that prevented the nose landing gear from extending.


Nose/tail landing gear - Failure
Gear extension and retract sys - Malfunction

Personnel issues
Scheduled/routine maintenance - Maintenance personnel (Cause)

Factual Information

History of Flight

Prior to flight
Aircraft maintenance event

Sys/Comp malf/fail (non-power) (Defining event)

After landing
Landing gear not configured

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport
Age: 43
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: Class 1 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 05/31/2016
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 06/16/2016
Flight Time:  3676 hours (Total, all aircraft), 2633 hours (Total, this make and model) 

Co-Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport; Foreign
Age: 47
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 5-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification:  Class 1 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 07/08/2016
Flight Time:  7754 hours (Total, all aircraft), 6215 hours (Total, this make and model) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: BOMBARDIER INC
Registration: N366PH
Model/Series: DHC 8 202 202
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1998
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Transport
Serial Number: 510
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 41
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 09/24/2016, Continuous Airworthiness
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 36301 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 2 Turbo Prop
Airframe Total Time:  36309.6 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Pratt & Whitney
ELT: C126 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: PW-123D
Rated Power:  2054 hp
Operator: Champlain Enterprises, LLC
Operating Certificate(s) Held:  Flag carrier (121); Supplemental
Operator Does Business As: Commutair - United Express
Operator Designator Code: JJBA

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: KIAD
Observation Time: 2252 EDT
Distance from Accident Site:
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered
Temperature/Dew Point: 17°C / 14°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 4 knots, 100°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.16 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration:
Departure Point: ALBANY, NY (ALB)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Destination: Dulles, VA (IAD)
Type of Clearance: IFR
Departure Time: 1925 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class B

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Concrete
Airport Elevation: 313 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 01R
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 11500 ft / 150 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 3 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 21 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 24 None
Latitude, Longitude: 38.953056, -77.456389

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