A final report of an October 2007 landing of an Air Europa Boeing 737-800 flight from Beirut to Poland’s Katowice International Airport has finally been released by authorities.
Even 10 years on, with the final report of the intense investigation released just recently, this investigation could be re-opened if any new evidence appears that can give further evidence for contributing factors in the accident. The cause of the accident was listed as a failure to execute missed approach procedures.
The investigation report also revealed that as the aircraft began its descent, the glideslope triggered sink-rate alerts to “Pull-Up.” A glideslope is a ground device indicator which utilizes a lighting system to guide pilots on landing the aircraft.
Three pilots were aboard the Boeing craft and neither the flight officer, routine flight instructor nor the captain of the aircraft informed air traffic control of the fact that the plane had “clipped” several objects on the ground upon landing.
The report indicates that there were over 100 points of impact damage to the aircraft including heavy damage to both wing skins, the aircraft’s engine and the hydraulic system of the landing gear. The final investigation reports a total of 123 areas of damage as a result of the Boeing 737-800 landing. Many of the runway approach-lights had been broken off or damaged.
The engine fans sustained damage as the plane made contact with several objects on the ground, and pieces of one of the wings were found broken off and laying near some of the ground damage. Photographs of the extent of damage have caused a shock at how no aviation services or authorities were immediately contacted by the crew who knew they had made contact with ground objects.
One of the factors that may have contributed, but was not stated as a definite factor involved, was the strong winds in the area with low fog, reducing visibility. Other errors include the plane landing without the ILS CAT I auto-pilot which was a requirement.
The flight recording device reveals that just 9 seconds before the plane touched down, the GPWS system sounded the “Pull Up” sink rate alarm. 2 seconds before touchdown the first indication of impact with ground objects can be heard and at the 1 second before the plane touched down, the captain can be heard saying, “Oh, my God.”
Although the plane sustained heavy damages, none of the 114 passengers or 8 crew members were injured.