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21 December 1992 - Martinair 495

Martinair Flight 495 was a Dutch DC-10, registration PH-MBN, that crash-landed at Faro Airport, Portugal, in severe weather conditions, in 1992. The airplane carried 327 passengers and 13 crew members on board, mainly vacationers from The Netherlands. 54 passengers, and 2 crew members died, and 106 persons were badly injured.

At 05.52 LT Flight 495 took off from Amsterdam for a flight to Faro. The flight had been delayed for 40mins due to no.2 engine reverser problems. After a flight of 2hrs and 17 minutes the flight was cleared to descend to FL70. Shortly afterwards Faro Approach Control provided the crew with the following weather: wind 15deg./18kts; 2500m visibility; thunderstorms with 3/8 clouds at 500ft, 7/8 clouds at 2300ft and 1/8 cumulonimbus at 2500ft, temp. 16deg. C. Clearance to descend to 1220m was given at 08.20h, followed by a clearance to 915m and 650m 4, resp. 6 minutes later. At 08.29 the crew were informed that the runway was flooded. At an altitude of 303m and 140kts speed the approach became unstable and at 177m the first officer switched the autopilot from CMD (command mode) to CWS (control-wheel steering). One minute later it was switched from CWS to manual and the airspeed began falling below approach reference speed. About 3-4 seconds short of touchdown elevator was pulled to pitch up and engine power was increased. When the no.3 and 5 spoilers extended, the aircraft had a 25deg. bank, left wing up. The right main gear contacted the runway with a 900ft/min descent rate at 126kts, +8.79deg. pitch up, +5.62deg roll and 1,9533G. The right wing separated while the aircraft slid down the runway. The aircraft came to rest 1100m from the runway 11 threshold and 100m to the right of the centerline and caught fire.

PROBABLE CAUSES: "The high rate of descent in the final phase of the approach and the landing made on the right landing gear, which exceeded the structural limitations of the aircraft.; The crosswind, which exceeded the aircrafts limits and which occurred in the final phase of the approach and during landing. The combination of both factors determined stresses which exceeded the structural limitations of the aircraft. Contributing factors were: The instability of the approach; the premature power reduction, and the sustaining of this condition, probably due to crew action; the incorrect wind information delivered by Approach Control; the absence of an approach light system; the incorrect evaluation by the crew of the runway conditions; CWS mode being switched off at approx. 80ft RA, causing the aircraft to be in manual control in a critical phase of the landing; the delayed action of the crew in increasing power; the degradation of the lift coefficient due to heavy showers." (DGAC Portugal)


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Transcript of the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR)

Time: Source: Contents:
07.27:12 ATC Martinair four six one, uh, on the ground at two eight, at the end and by the left, change to Tower frequency one, uh, one eight decimal two.
07.27:20 MP461 One one eight two, pleasant day.
07.27:25 - // Sound of selector knob //
07.27:53 CAPT Approaching eight miles.
07.27:54 FO Yes.
07.27:56 CAPT I'll give you one one one.
07.27:57 - // Sound of selector knob //
07.28:01 FO Over right, heading zero eight zero.
07.28:04 CAPT ... zero eight zero ...
07.28:11 RDO Four nine five is turning inbound.
07.28:17 ATC Four nine five copied, report at minimums or runway in sight, runway surface conditions are flooded.
07.28:26 RDO Roger, call you.
07.28:30 - // Sound of selector knob (auto pilot trim) //
07.28:42 ??? ... zero.
07.28:44 CAPT Ja.
07.28:55 CAPT Seven DME.
07.28:57 FO Ja, dan mag de gear down.
[Yes, then the gear maybe selected down]
07.29:00 CAPT Gear down.
07.29:17 CAPT Wind is from right ...
07.29:22 CAPT Gear is down.
07.29:23 FO Ja, thank you.
07.29:25 FO Flaps three five.
07.29:28 CAPT Flaps three five.
07.29:30 - // Sound of selector knob //
07.29:32 CAPT Flaps are three five.
07.29:36 FO Vertical speed selected.
07.29:36 AC1158 Air Columbus one one five eight with you.
07.29:38 ATC One one five eight continue to taxi.
07.29:43 FO Flaps, five zero.
07.29:47 CAPT Flaps five zero.
07.29:50 - // Sound of selector know, pause, 4 clicks, selector knob //
07.30:00 CAPT Six DME seventeen thirty.
07.30:05 CAPT Check?
07.30:06 FO Yes, check.
07.30:08 CAPT Five DME, fourteen thirty.
07.30:11 - // Sound of selector knob //
07.30:13 CAPT Wind is coming from the right, thirty knots, drift twelve degrees, so you make it one two three or so.
07.30:22 FO Ja.
07.30:25 FE OK, for the landing checklist?
07.30:27 FO Ja, landing checklist.
07.30:28 CAPT Four DME, eleven twenty.
07.30:32 FE Missed approach altitude.
07.30:36 CAPT .. three ..., set.
07.30:38 AC1158 Air Columbus one one five eight, ready for departure.
07.30:40 FE Altimeters.
07.30:41 CAPT Set three times.
07.30:44 FE Spoilers.
// Sound of arming the spoilers //
07.30:45 CAPT Arm.
07.30:46 FE I'll check them.
07.30:47 CAPT Ja.
07.30:48 - // Sound of arming //
07.30:50 FE Flaps, slats.
07.30:52 CAPT Five zero, land.
07.30:55 FE Landing checklist completed.
07.30:56 CAPT OK.
07.30:57 AC1158 Tower, Air Columbus one one five eight.
07.31:01 ATC Go ahaead.
07.31:02 AC1158 Ready for departure.
07.31:03 CAPT Four DME, eleven twenty.
07.31:05 ATC Marinair four nine five, confirm inbound, how many miles?
07.31:08 RDO We are four miles out.
07.31:10 ATC Roger, Air Columbus one one five eight, hold short.
07.31:14 CAPT Ja, je kan de baan zien.
[Yes, you can see the runway]
07.31:15 AC1158 Holding short, Air Columbus one one five eight.
07.31:24 CAPT Three DME, eight twenty.
07.31:29 CAPT Three DME, eight twenty.
07.31:33 - // Start sound of windshield wipers //
07.31:37 RDO Martinair four nine five, finals.
07.31:40 ATC Confirm you have runway lights in sight?
07.31:43 RDO Affirm.
07.31:44 ATC Cleared to land runway one one, the wind one five zero, one five knots, maximum two zero.
07.31:52 RDO Cleared to land.
07.31:53 FO Auto pilot C.
07.31:54 CAPT OK, hè, the runway is ...
07.31:55 ATC Confirm the lights are too bright?
07.31:58 RDO No, it's fine, keep it.
07.32:00 FE Five hundred.
07.32:03 CAPT Cleared, hè?
07.32:04 FO Ja.
07.32:04 FE JA, check cleared.
07.32:15 FO PAPI, hè.
07.32:16 CAPT Ja.
07.32:20 CAPT Speed a bit low, speed is low.
07.32:24 CAPT Ja OK, speed is OK.
07.32:29 FO Windshield, uh windshiels anti-ice, ik zie niks.
[Windshield, uh windshiels anti-ice, I don't see anything]
07.32:30 CAPT Ja.
07.32:32 FE You're at fast.
07.32:34 CAPT A bit low, bit low, bit low.
07.32:36 FO Ja.
07.32:37 CAPT OK, OK, OK.
07.32:39 CAPT Wind is, uh, one ninety with twenty.
07.32:44 - // Sound of double click //
// Sound of single click //
07.32:47 - // Start of 'kettle' tone - radio altimeter passing 50ft //
07.32:48 CAPT Throttles.
07.32:48 - // Sound of throttles pushed full forward //
07.32:49 - // Touchdown //
07.32:51 - // Sound of landing gear warning horn //

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