8 October 1996 - Aeroflot 9981

At about 10.25 local time an An-124 with registration RA-82069, property of Aeroflot and operated by Ajax was flying empty from Russia to Turin, Italy, to collect Ferrari cars to be delivered in Brunei. After having failed to land on runway 36 at Caselle Airport, while trying to go-around from an altitude of about 15 meters (50 ft) above the runway, the aircraft struck trees and houses in the small town of San Francesco al Campo, north of the runway end.

Runway 36 at that time was undergoing resurfacing works near the 36 threshold. The cat III ILS was operating as Localizer only, because the glide slope was turned off during the work. The usable length of the runway was reduced to 2350 meters from 3300, due to work in progress. All these informations were included in a regular NOTAM and the crew was advised accordingly at first contact from the Turin Radar controller.

Reported weather at time of crash (10:20 local) was: wind variable, 3 knots, visibility 2000 m, RVR runway 36 more than 1500 meters, no change, light rain, scattered at 1500 ft, scattered at 3500 ft, broken at 7000 ft, temperature and dew point 13C, QNH 1012 hPa.

The airplane scrapped trees at an elevation of 329 meters ASL (1079 ft) and finally came to rest into an house, destroying it, at an elevation of about 330 meters ASL (1083 ft); runway end elevation is 304 meters ASL (997 ft).

According to the preliminary inquiry results, minimum distance from the runway surface reached by the 24 wheels of main gear bogey during the go-around was just less than one meter, about three feet. It seems that poor crew coordination and training (the captain had just 431 hours on the civil type), poor approach planning (no planning was made for a possible missed approach, despite the crew having been informed by the Tower eleven minutes before the crash that the preceding aircraft had got the runway in sight at just 200 feet), late decision to start the missed approach (according to the inquiry results, the captain at last decided to go around when the aircrafts was almost touching down and about 1350 meters, 4400 feet, of runway plus 300 meters, 1000 feet, of stopway were still available) and some trouble with the engines (whose throttle levers were "wildly" moved during the attempted go-around) have all contributed to the crash.

Transcript of the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR)


TWR: Turin Tower
CAPT: captain
PIL: Co-pilot
F/E: Flight Engineer
NAV: navigator
RAD: radio operator
unk: voice unknown
[...]: phrases included in square brackets are integration for better clarity.

Time from end of tape source: content:
2' 11" NAV Distance five kilometers.
1' 57" NAV Four.
1' 46" NAV Descent...
1' 45" PIL Let's put on the wipers, fine tune them...your control.
1' 41" NAV Distance three, height one-fifty [meters AGL]...Descending: hold four meters [per second, vertical speed].
1' 33" NAV Two.
1' 32" CAPT All right: we're entering the glide path.
1' 30" NAV Well... (sound of Middle Marker tone)
1' 28" NAV Well, well.
1' 23" CAPT I've got control.
1' 21" NAV One and a half...speed two-thirty...One hundred meters.
1' 15" PIL A little lower.
1' 11" NAV Radioaltimeter eighty...seventy...sixty (sound of ground proximity warning)
1' 06" NAV Fifty...Two hundred and forty.
1' 03" PIL No, let's...go around.
1' 02" NAV Thirty.
1' 01" CAPT Why are we going around ?
1' 01" NAV Twenty.
1' 00" PIL No, no !
1' 00" CAPT Idle !
0' 57" NAV Ten...eight...six...
0' 53" PIL No, let's...now go around !
0' 52" NAV Four...three...
0' 50" PIL Runway's there...There's the runway...
0' 48" PIL Do you see the runway's end ?
0' 47" CAPT So better to go around...
0' 46" F/E Reverse failed !
0' 44" CAPT We're going around !
0' 43" F/E It has come out "reverse failure"
0' 42" PIL Right.
0' 41" CAPT Tell them "go around"
0' 37" PIL Go around !
0' 34" RAD 9981, we go around...uh...due to low visibility...
0' 30" F/E The engines are not spooling up !
0' 27" TWR Roger, 9981, call Torino radar one-two-one decimal one.
0' 25" CAPT Gear up.
0' 22" NAV Speed !
0' 20" RAD; NAV Roger, one-two-one point one. Speed is decreasing !
0' 18" F/E So, all's right.
0' 16" NAV Sp-e-e-d...
0' 15" F/E Stop moving [throttles] sharply ! Spool up !
0' 14" F/E Spool up !
0' 12" NAV Speed's decreasing !
0' 11"   Sound of AOA warning.
0' 10" F/E All right now...Spooling up.
0' 08" NAV Speed !
0' 07" F/E Keep 'em spooled up !
0' 05" F/E Spool up...spool up...spool up !
0' 03" unk What ?
0' 02" NAV Speed...Speed is decreasing !
0' 00"   Noise of crash

Cockpit Voice Recorder Database, visit us at www.tailstrike.com