Manx2 Flight 7100
Fairchild Metro EC-ITP
|Date||10 February 2011|
|Site||Cork Airport, Republic of Ireland
|Aircraft type||Fairchild SA227-BC Metro III|
|Flight origin||George Best Belfast City Airport, Belfast, Northern Ireland|
|Destination||Cork Airport, Cork,Ireland|
Manx2 Flight 7100 (NM7100) was an airline flight which crashed while trying to land at Cork Airport, Cork, Republic of Ireland, on 10 February 2011. Six of the 12 people on board died. The aircraft involved, a Fairchild Metro III operated by Spanish company Flightline BCN, was conducting a Manx2 international flight from George Best Belfast City Airport, Belfast, Northern Ireland. It crashed on its third attempt to land.
Aircraft and crew
The aircraft was a Fairchild SA227-BC Metro III, c/n BC-789B, registration EC-ITP owned by Flightline BCN, based in Barcelona, Spain. It was 19 years old at the time of the accident. The aircraft had undergone a maintenance check in the week before the accident occurred. The aircraft was being operated on a wet lease to Manx2.
The captain was a Spaniard, and the copilot was from England. The captain had more than 1,800 hours experience on the aircraft type and was employed by the Spanish airline Flightline BCN. He was performing one of his first revenue-earning flights for Manx2, having recently been promoted from co-pilot.
The aircraft flew from Belfast City Airport, Northern Ireland. It departed at 08:12 GMT and was due to land at 09:45 GMT, in Cork, where the weather was foggy.[Note 1] An initial attempt to land on runway 17 was aborted, as was an attempt to land on runway 35. At approximately 09:47, the right wing tip of the aircraft clipped the runway on its final landing attempt to land on runway 17, the aircraft overturned, skidded for 200 metres (220 yd) inverted, departed the runway and caught fire. Six people were killed, including the pilot and co-pilot. A witness inside the airport terminal building stated that the fog was so thick that the crashed aircraft could not be seen. The injured were taken to Cork University Hospital for treatment. Four had serious injuries, while two were walking wounded. As a result of the accident, Cork Airport was closed until the evening of 11 February.
Martin McGuinness, the deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, revealed that he had intended to be on the flight, but had changed his travel plans. McGuinness was due to travel to Cork to campaign in the forthcoming Irish general election, scheduled for 25 February.
The Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) opened an investigation into the accident. The cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder were recovered from the wreckage. Four personnel from the AAIU were on scene within 90 minutes of the accident. They completed their survey of the wreckage that day. The AAIU is being assisted in the investigation by personnel from the Air Accident Investigation Branch in the United Kingdom and the Civil Aviation Accident and Incident Investigation Commission from Spain. Flightline BCN are also assisting the AAIU. Assistance is also being given by the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board from the United States.
The wreckage was transported to the AAIU's examination facility at Gormanston, Co. Meath to allow investigators to reconstruct the aircraft as far as possible. By 14 February, five of the six survivors had been interviewed by the AAIU.
The preliminary report, issued on 16 March 2011, stated that the aircraft, being flown by the co-pilot, had deviated from the runway centre-line at final approach and that the crew decided to execute a third go-around four seconds before impact. The aircraft rolled to the left and to the right, and the right wing then impacted the runway. No deficiencies in the aircraft or the airfield infrastructure were identified. The report did not include any findings.
An Interim Statement was published in February 2012 in line with European Union regulatory requirements. Inspection of the engines revealed that the right engine had consistently been developing up to five percent more torque than the left engine, as a result of a defective right engine intake air temperature and pressure sensor. The defective sensor meant that the engine would deliver more torque than the left engine and also respond more rapidly to commands to increase power from the engine's power lever than the left engine. The investigation also determined that both engines were developing go-around power at the moment of impact; however both engines were below flight idle power at eight to six seconds before impact. At eight seconds before impact the right engine reached a minimum of zero torque while the left engine reached -9 percent torque (which means the left propeller was driving the engine instead of the engine driving the propeller). The stall warning horn also sounded repeatedly in the seven seconds prior to impact. The investigation is continuing.
In April 2011, it was revealed that the European Aviation Safety Agency had initiated a procedure to suspend the Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) of Flightline BCN. Eventually the AOC was not revoked, but restrictions were put in place banning Flightline BCN from operating Fairchild Metro IIIs.
On 4 May 2011, the BBC Radio 4 programme Face the Facts investigated the circumstances of the crash. It stated that the crew breached air safety regulations on all three approaches by descending below the decision height of 200 ft (61 m) before initiating a missed approach. On 6 May, the Civil Aviation Authority in the United Kingdom issued a Safety Notice advising all operators within the United Kingdom of new rules regarding Non-Precision Approaches and Minimum Descent Altitudes, applicable from 16 July 2011.
- ^ The METAR in force at the time of the accident was: EICK 101000Z 09008KT 0400 R17/0600N R35/0450N FG BKN001 05/05 Q1010 NOSIG.
- Translation: METAR for Cork Airport, issued on the 10th of the month at 10:00 Zulu time. Wind from 090° at 8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph). Visibility 400 metres (1,300 ft), Runway visual range for Runway 17 is 600 metres (2,000 ft) with no significant change, Runway visual range for Runway 35 is 450 metres (1,480 ft) with no significant change, fog, broken clouds at 100 feet (30 m) above ground level, temperature 5 °C, dew point 5 °C, QNH 1010 hPa, no significant change expected.
- Cork plane crash: Two passengers emerge from air disaster unscathed Belfast Telegraph 11 February 2011.
- "Ireland plane crash in heavy fog kills 6: Crash occurred during 3rd attempt to land at Cork Airport".
- Murray, Niall. "Investigators to reconstruct remains of stricken aircraft". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 14 February 2011.
- Roche, Barry; Carr, Aoife (2 February 2011). "Plane crashes at Cork airport". The Irish Times. Retrieved 10 February 2011.
- "EC-ITP Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 10 February 2011.
- "Six killed as Belfast plane crashes in Cork". BBC News. 10 February 2011. Retrieved 10 February 2011.
- Reals, Kerry. "Metroliner which crashed in Cork belongs to Flightline BCN". Flight International. Retrieved 10 February 2011.
- Rutherford, Adrian. "Questions mount as cause of Cork crash is probed". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 12 February 2011.
- Gregory, John. "Flightline BCN no longer operating flights for Manx2 following crash". Isleofman Dot Com Ltd. Retrieved 14 February 2011.
- "Cork plane crash: Spaniard not used to being in charge of flight deck". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 12 February 2011.
- Hradecky, Simon. "Accident: Flightline SW4 at Cork on Feb 10th 2011, failed landing in low visibility". Aviation Herald. Retrieved 10 February 2011.
- "Preliminary Accident Report". Air Accident Investigation Unit. Retrieved 16 March 2011.
- "Aircraft Crashes at Cork". Irish Aviation Authority. Retrieved 10 February 2011.
- Air crash probe to focus on pilot hours Irish Independent 12 February 2011.[dead link]
- "AAIU Report No: 2012-003, Interim Statement, Accident to Fairchild Metro III EC-ITP at Cork Airport on 10 February 2011". Air Accident Investigation Unit. Retrieved 26 June 2012.
- "Politicians express 'shock' at Cork crash". The Irish Times. 2 February 2011. Retrieved 10 February 2011.
- "Belfast flight crashes at Cork airport". The Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 10 February 2011.
- "First report on Cork crash expected next month." Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 11 February 2011. Retrieved on 11 February 2011.
- "Investigations into the Cork airport crash under way". BBC Online. 11 February 2011. Retrieved 11 February 2011.
- "LIVE – Belfast flight crashes at Cork Airport". Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 11 February 2011. Retrieved 10 February 2011.
- "Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness was due to take flight that crashed in Cork killing six... but changed his plans at the last minute". Daily Mail (UK). 11 February 2011. Retrieved 10 February 2011.
- Aircraft crashes on third attempt to land in fog Irish Times 11 January 2011.
- The Victims Irish Times 11 January 2011.
- Airline chairman says emergency service's swift action saved lives Irish Times 12 January 2011.
- El aeropuerto de Cork cerrado mientras se investigan las causas de accidente La Voz de Galicia 2011-02-10. (in Spanish)
- "Experts probe cause of plane crash". The Corkman. Retrieved 11 February 2011.
- Manx2.com end BHD-ORK-BHD route.
- Kaninski-Morrow, David (22 April 2011). "Operator of crashed Manx2 flight faced possible grounding". Flight International. Retrieved 25 April 2011.
- "BBC Radio 4 Programmes – Face The Facts". BBC. Retrieved 8 May 2011.
- "Safety Notice SN-2011/03". Civil Aviation Authority. Retrieved 16 May 2011.
- Air Accident Investigation Unit
- BBC Radio 4 Documentary on the crash