HISTORY OF THE FLIGHT Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
On January 1, 2002, about 1057 eastern standard time, a McDonnell-Douglas MD-83, Trinidad registration 9Y-THQ, operated by BWIA West Indies Airways, as flight 432, scheduled passenger service from Bridgetown, Barbados, to Miami, Florida, overran the runway while landing at Miami International Airport. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed. The airplane received minor damage and the airline transport-rated captain, first officer, 4 flight attendants, and 119 passengers were not injured. The flight originated from Barbados, at 0730.
The captain stated the first officer was flying the airplane for the approach and landing. He and the first officer performed a briefing for the localizer 30 approach to Miami International Airport, prior to beginning descent. During landing on runway 30, the airplane floated for a while before touchdown, after the first officer flared for landing. After a few seconds, he, the captain, took control of the airplane during the landing roll. It appeared the airplane would over run the runway and collide with an approach light structure. The captain steered the airplane to the left side of the runway and brought it to a complete stop with the nose wheel in a sandy area. He shut down the engines and deplaned the passengers. The airplane was then towed to the gate. (See captain statement).
The first officer stated that before beginning descent from 31,000 feet, that he and the captain briefed for the localizer 30 approach to Miami International Airport. They crossed the JUNUR intersection at 10,000 feet and 250 knots airspeed. They were given a heading to fly by the air traffic controller to intercept the localizer for runway 30 and then cleared for the approach. As they rounded out into the landing flare, there was no contact with the runway. He applied control column pressure and contacted the runway. He applied engine reverse and firm brakes. The airplane did not decelerate as it should. He applied more reverse and firm brakes and veered the airplane slightly left of center as the approach lights at the end of the runway came into view. The captain continued steering the airplane 90 degrees to the left and stopped with the nose wheel in sand. (See first officer statement).
A pilot-rated passenger stated the airplane was flying extremely fast and at a much higher than normal airspeed during the approach to land. They floated over the runway and finally touched down hard on all three landing gear. The wheel brakes were applied almost immediately and the tires were squealing. The smell of burning rubber entered the cabin. About 2/3 of the way down the runway, the flight attendant told them to brace for impact. As they approached the end of the runway, the pilot hit the left brake hard and the airplane turned to the left and skidded right side first. He saw the approach lights approaching the right side of the airplane. The right wing tip cleared the approach lights and the airplane came to a stop with the nose wheel in sand. They exited the airplane via the aft air stair and were taken to the terminal by bus. (See passenger statement).
Air traffic controllers stated the flight crossed the runway 30 threshold at a high rate of speed and touched down at the intersection of the runway and taxiway Z. The airplane then rolled to the end of the runway and turned to the left, coming to rest with the nose wheel off the runway surface. (See air traffic controller statements).
Recorded radar data from the FAA, Miami Approach Control, showed the flight was at 304 knots groundspeed when descending through 1,000 feet on the approach to land. At 300 feet on the approach, the flight was at 262 knots groundspeed. The last radar contact was at 1055:55 and showed zero feet altitude and 166 knots groundspeed. (See recorded radar data).
Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The Miami International Airport, 1056 surface weather observation was wind from 360 degrees at 8 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, clouds 25,000 feet broken, temperature 21 degrees C, dew point temperature 15 degrees C, altimeter setting 30.10 in Hg.
The cockpit voice recorder was still operating when the NTSB arrived at the airplane, which had already been towed to a gate, after the incident. The cockpit voice recorder was retained by NTSB and forwarded to the NTSB Vehicle Recorders Division, Washington, D.C., for readout. The recorder did not contain any human voices or air noise similar to an aircraft operation in flight or on the ground. The BWIA International Airways Limited, Flight Operations Manual, states on page 2:6:3, under "Procedures Following a Serious Incident", item 10.3.6, "If relevant, items such as the Cockpit Voice Recorder, Flight Data Recorder and ATC tapes should be preserved." (See Cockpit Voice Recorder Group Chairman Report and Operations Manual Pages).
The digital flight data recorder was retained by NTSB and forwarded to the NTSB Vehicle Recorders Division, Washington, D.C., for readout. The data indicated that as the airplane was descending to land, the airspeed began to increase. The spoilers were deployed for 16 seconds during the approach to land. As the airplane descended through 1,980 feet, the airspeed was 313 knots. The autopilot was switched off and the spoilers were again deployed for 28 seconds. The wing slats and flaps were extended followed by the landing gear. The airplane switched from air mode to ground mode while at an airspeed of 153 knots and on a magnetic heading of 305 degrees. The engine thrust reversers deployed and within 2 seconds, full brake pedal travel was reached. The wing spoilers did not extend during landing. The airplane came to a stop on magnetic heading 209 degrees. (See Specialist's Factual Report of Investigation, Digital Flight Data Recorder).
Analysis of the digital flight data recorder data was performed by The Boeing Company. The approach reference speed (Vref) for the airplane at the incident landing weight was 128 knots with 40 degrees of wing flaps extended and 132 knots with 28 degrees of wing flaps extended. It would be expected that the final approach speed would be stabilized at Vref + 5 knots. The decent from cruise flight to 10, 000 feet appeared normal and at 10,000 feet the airplane maintained 250 knots airspeed. During descent from 10,000 feet the airspeed began to increase, reaching over 300 knots as the airplane descended through 5,000 feet. An airspeed of over 300 knots was maintained until within 4 miles of the runway and an altitude of 1,500 feet. The airplane crossed over the runway threshold at over 100 feet, as measured by the radio altimeter, and over 200 knots airspeed, at least Vref + 70 knots. The touchdown speed was approximately 150 knots. Full wing spoilers or speed brakes were deployed from 4.5 to 2.5 miles remaining to the runway or between 1,700 and 800 feet. Wing slat extension began at an altitude of 1,200 feet and 290 knot airspeed. Wing flap extension began at 900 feet and 280 knot airspeed. The landing gear was extended at 1.5 miles from the runway at an altitude of 400 feet. The ground spoilers were not deployed after landing. The airplane appears to have touched down over 5,000 feet past the runway threshold. The airplane came to rest about 90 degrees left of runway heading. (See The Boeing Company Report).
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
Post incident drug and alcohol testing on specimens obtained from the captain and first officer were negative.
The airplane was released by NTSB on January 1, 2002, to Steve Boyce, BWIA International Airways, Station Manager, Miami, Florida. The retained cockpit voice recorder was released to Steve Boyce on January 11, 2002, and the retained digital flight data recorder was released to Steve Boyce on February 20, 2002.