January 2009 - Empire Airlines 8284
On January 27, 2009, approximately 0437 central standard time, N902FX,
an Aerospatiale Alenia ATR-42-320, operating as Empire Airlines flight
8284, sustained substantial damage when it landed short of the runway
threshold while executing the Instrument Landing System (ILS) RWY 17R
approach at Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport (LBB), Lubbock,
Texas. The airplane was registered to Federal Express Corporation, Memphis,
Tennessee, and operated by Empire Airlines, Hayden, Idaho. The airline
transport pilot rated captain was seriously injured and the commercial
rated first officer sustained minor injuries. An instrument flight rules
flight plan was filed for the flight that departed Fort Worth Alliance
Airport (AFW), Fort Worth, Texas, approximately 0319. Night instrument
meteorological conditions prevailed for the supplemental cargo flight
operated under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 121.
A preliminary review of air traffic control communications revealed
that the captain contacted the Lubbock Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT)
at 0422, and reported that they were descending from an altitude of
10,000 feet down to 8,000 feet mean sea level (msl). A controller acknowledged
the transmission and then provided the airport's current weather information
and a runway breaking-action advisory. In addition, he provided vectors
for the ILS 17R approach.
At 0430, the controller instructed the airplane to descend and maintain
an altitude of 5,000 feet msl. At 0432, the controller informed the
flight crew that the wind had shifted 180 degrees from the north to
the south between 5,000 and 6,000 feet msl. The captain responded and
added that he also noted a drop in the outside air temperature of 8
degrees and concurred with the controller's observation regarding the
wind shift. The controller cleared the airplane for the ILS approach
at 0433 and instructed the flight crew to contact Lubbock Control Tower.
The captain acknowledged.
At 0434, the captain contacted the control tower and a controller cleared
the airplane to land on runway 17R. The captain acknowledged the landing
clearance and there were no further communications. Approximately three
minutes later an airport maintenance employee contacted the tower and
asked "what is that fire there at the end of the runway?"
A controller responded, "it's an airplane." The controller
had witnessed the accident and had activated the alarm for the airport
rescue and fire fighting equipment to respond.
An on-scene examination of the wreckage revealed that the airplane
landed short of the runway threshold and collided with the approach
lighting system before it skidded off the right side of the runway into
the grass. The airplane came to rest on a westerly heading perpendicular
to the runway. A post-impact fire consumed a large portion of the fuselage
and the right wing.
At 0415, the special weather report at LBB included wind from 350 degrees
at 10 knots, visibility 2 miles, light freezing drizzle, mist, ceiling
500 feet overcast, temperature 46 degrees Fahrenheit, dew point 48 degrees
Fahrenheit, and a barometric pressure setting of 30.02 inches of Mercury.
Transcript of the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR)
04:34:01 RDO-1: Empire eighty two eighty four is uh checkin' in nine
out on the localizer inbound.
04:34:06 TWR: Empire eighty two eighty four Lubbock Tower runway one
seven right clear to land. winds zero one zero at eight.
04:34:11 RDO-1: roger clear to land.
04:34:14 HOT-2: alright...go.
04:34:24 HOT-2: flaps fifteen gear down landing check.
04:34:29 CAM: [sound similar to landing gear deployment]
04:34:33 HOT-1: alright awww landing check. start selector is continuous
relight. power management is in takeoff. icing AOA is on landing gear
confirmed three green.
04:34:43 HOT-2: glideslope star.
04:34:48 HOT-2: confirmed.
04:34:48 HOT-1: uh let's see we should have glideslope star.
04:34:52 HOT-1: very good...and flaps condition levers to go.
04:34:58 HOT: [sound similar to altitude alert]
04:35:03 HOT-2: what the heck is going on?
04:35:04 HOT-1: you know what? we have no flaps.
04:35:08 HOT-2: aw #.
04:35:10 LB: [sound similar to outer marker]
04:35:22 TAWS: one thousand.
04:35:23 HOT-2: okay.
04:35:28 HOT-1: what the hell?
04:35:30 HOT: [sound similar to stall warning and stickshaker lasting
04:35:31 HOT-2: aw #.
04:35:31 HOT-1: yeah don't do that.
04:35:32 CAM: [sound similar to stall warning lasting 0.3 seconds]
04:35:34 HOT-2: alright.
04:35:36 HOT-1: just keep flying the airplane. okay.
04:35:40 HOT-2: should I go around?
04:35:41 HOT-1: no.
04:35:41 TWR: winds zero one zero at eight.
04:35:43 HOT-1: keep descending.
04:35:44 HOT-2: we're getting pretty close here. [straining]
04:35:45 HOT-1: what's that? you want me to finish it?
04:35:47 HOT-2: yes please.
04:35:48 HOT-1: okay my airplane.
04:35:49 HOT-2: your controls.
04:35:50 HOT-?: [sound of heavy breathing]
04:35:52 HOT-2: alright you got power.
04:35:53 HOT: [sound similar to altitude alert]
04:35:58 TAWS: five hundred.
04:36:00 HOT-1: aw #.
04:36:00 HOT: [sound similar to stall warning and stickshaker lasting
04:36:00 TAWS: pull up. pull up.
04:36:02 HOT-1: okay.
04:36:04 HOT-2: there's the runway.
04:36:17 HOT-1: max RPM.
04:36:17 HOT-2: max RPM.
04:36:19 CAM: [sound similar to RPM increase]
04:36:19 HOT: [sound similar to stall warning and stickshaker lasting
04:36:20 HOT: [sound similar to stall warning and stickshaker lasting
04:36:22 HOT-2: oh #.
04:36:25 HOT-1: #.
04:36:25 HOT-2: #. [straining]
04:36:27 CAM: [sound of impact]
04:36:28 CAM: [sound of grinding and scraping]
04:36:32 CAM: [sound of continuous repetitive chime continues until
end of recording]
04:36:43 CAM: [sound similar to occupants moving around in cockpit]
04:36:45 HOT-1: get out of the airplane. get out of the airplane.
04:36:48 CAM: [sound of scraping stops]
04:36:52 CAM-1: go out the go out the hatch.