AACM publishes the final report of the Beijing Capital Airlines incident

The Civil Aviation Authority of Macao SAR (AACM) has concluded the final report for the investigation of the Beijing Capital Airlines incident which took place in Macau International Airport last August. The final report states the contributing factors and the safety recommendations addressed to both the airport and the concerned airline to prevent similar occurrences in the future.

On 28 August 2018, a Beijing Capital Airlines flight destined to Macao from Beijing encounteredsevere low-level wind shear at the runway with rapid tailwind increase and downdraft tendency, which led to the reduction of airspeed and lift, resulting in the higher-than-usual vertical acceleration at the touchdown and the aircraft bounced up in the air. The aircraft was not maintained at a normal landing attitude during the bounce; at the second touchdown, all three landing gears touched down within the same second, resulting in the nose landing gear fracture. The aircraft performed a go-around but the thrust lever of the right engine was erroneously moved to the idle position triggering the stall warning twice. The captain of the flight conducted missed approach procedures and diverted to Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport where the aircraft landed safely. In addition, the Macau International Airport does not have equipment to detect low-level wind shear.

To prevent similar occurrences in the future, the final report makes safety recommendations to both the airport and the concerned airline. The airport should determine the necessity to install appropriate equipment to detect hazardous weather conditions; the airport should review and amend the current operation procedures on the FOD (Foreign Object Debris) presence on the runway, including the need to conduct mandatory runway inspections; the airport should assess the need to install automatic equipment to detect FOD on the runway. The airline should incorporate ground and simulator sessions on bounced identification and bounce recovery in the training for the flight crew; the airline should enhance pilot training to ensure that in case of a need to perform key changes to critical flight controls/systems, necessary cross-checks are performed between the pilots before such changes are made.

The aircraft type is Airbus A320-214. There were more than 160 flight crew members and passengers on board. 5 of the passengers encountered minor injuries during evacuation at the Shenzhen airport and received medical treatment. No hospitalization was needed. Due to the fact that the incident occurred in both the Macau International Airport and the Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport, and also due to the fact that the aircraft is registered in mainland China, the investigation was jointly carried out by the aeronautical authorities of both places, following the standards in Annex 13 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation.

The final report was concluded in this March and has been uploaded (the English version) onto the official website of AACM, with the link as follows:https://www.aacm.gov.mo/ (under “Publications & AIP” – “Publications” - “Reports”).

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