On December 14, 2008, about 1445 central standard time (all times cst), a Bombardier CL-600-2B16, N573BA, operated by the Boeing Company, sustained substantial damage during a hard landing on runway 12 (7,003 feet by 150 feet, asphalt) at the Gary/Chicago International Airport (GYY), Gary, Indiana. The 14 CFR Part 91 positioning flight departed the Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW) at 1435 with GYY as the intended destination. During the landing at GYY, the nose wheel of the airplane hit the runway hard and the airplane bounced. The flight crew executed a go around and attempted a second landing, but discontinued the landing due to strong crosswinds. The flight crew elected to return to MDW and made an uneventful landing. Inspection of the airplane revealed substantial damage to the nose of the airplane. The two pilots and one flight attendant were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. An instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
Earlier in the day, the flight originated from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Los Angeles, California, with GYY as the intended destination. Between 1314 and 1322, the flight made two approaches to runway 12 at GYY but did not land due to the crosswinds they experienced during the final approach for landing. After the second go-around, the flight diverted to MDW and landed without incident. The passengers on board were off loaded and provided ground transportation to their destinations. The pilots learned that two company airplanes had landed at GYY since they had diverted to MDW. They decided to attempt another landing at GYY, and the pilot-in-command (PIC) filed a new IFR flight plan and the flight departed for GYY.
The second in command (SIC) was the pilot flying (PF) the airplane and was seated in the left seat. The PIC was the pilot monitoring (PM) the flight and was in the right seat. The PF reported that during the visual approach to runway 12 at GYY, the flaps were set to Flaps 30 instead of the normal Flaps 45 due to the strong crosswinds. The PF called for the airspeed to be "bugged" at 140 knots. The PM reported that he bugged the airspeed at 150 knots to account for the Vref corrections for the reduced flap setting, winds, and gusts.
The tower air traffic controller (tower) at GYY provided numerous wind updates to the flight crew during the approach. When the flight initially checked in with the tower at GYY, they were given the winds as 180 degrees at 25 knots gusting to 32 knots. When the airplane was on the approach about 1.5 miles from the runway, the tower reported the winds as 170 degrees at 18 knots gusting to 32 knots. About the same time, approach air traffic control recorded a low altitude alert for the airplane. Just prior to touchdown, the tower reported the winds as 150 degrees at 18 knots.
The PF reported that flying the approach required numerous thrust lever adjustments and control deflections. He reported that he was crabbing the airplane into the wind during the approach to maintain runway centerline. During the flare, he took out the crab angle and slipped the airplane to maintain runway centerline. He reported that he felt like the airplane would not come down during the flare, and he applied forward pressure to the yoke. While holding the forward pressure, the airplane's nose dropped to the runway with the nose gear hitting the runway first, followed by the main landing gear. He reported that the airplane bounced and became airborne again. He immediately applied go-around thrust and stowed the spoilers that he had instinctively deployed during the landing. The PF called for the landing gear to be raised and the flaps set to Flaps 20. The PM checked the hydraulic synoptic page for the status of the landing gear and raised the gear and set Flaps 20 when he saw normal indications. The PF attempted another landing at GYY, but did a go-around during the second approach and returned to MDW.
The flight returned to MDW where the PF flew the ILS RWY 31C approach and circled to land on runway 22L. An uneventful landing was made using Flaps 45. The taxi was uneventful. The PIC exited the airplane for the post-flight inspection and discovered the damage in the area of the nose wheel well.
The inspection of the airplane revealed no pre-existing anomalies that would have precluded normal flight. A review of the airplane's flight data indicated that the airplane touched down at 154 knots.
The Bombardier Quick Reference Handbook (QRH) indicated that the Vref for the accident airplane at its landing weight using Flaps 45 was 120 knots. According to the Bombardier QRH abnormal procedures section, the appropriate additive is 7 knots for a Flap 30 landing if you have a FLAPS FAIL indication that precludes a normal landing with Flaps 45. The Bombardier QRH does not provide for a FLAPS 30 landing for a crosswind landing.