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Report: B737 off runway in Spain following unstabilized approach and high-speed landing
17 February 2012

File photo of an Air Europa Boeing 737-800 (by Harro Ranter)

The Spanish investigation into an incident involving a Boeing 737-800 concluded that the airplane went off the runway because it landed at excessive speed on a wet runway following an unstabilized approach.

The incident happened on October 31, 2008. Air Europa flight AEA196 operated by Air Europa departed Glasgow (GLA), UK on a flight to Lanzarote (ACE), Canary Islands, Spain. The first officer (FO) was pilot flying.
At FL210, they were transferred to the Canaries Approach frequency. The FO changed frequency and, at the captain’s request, asked about the possibility of using runway 21 instead of runway 03. About two minutes later they were cleared to proceed to the fix at mile 11 on the runway 21 final at Lanzarote. At that time they were at an altitude of 14,600 ft and 30.5 nautical miles (NM) away from the runway 21 threshold.

The FO then started to reprogram the FMC, but had difficulty finding the point to which they had been routed, which resulted in a delay of almost two minutes. In the meantime, the captain prompted him to descend more, though at no time did he himself manipulate any of the airplane’s controls.
They were 21 NM from the runway 21 threshold and had an indicated airspeed (IAS) of 315 kt when they reached the altitude of 10,000 ft. During the last 1,000 ft, the enhanced ground proximity warning system (EGPWS) was repeatedly issuing “SINK RATE”, “PULL UP” and “TOO LOW TERRAIN” warnings.
They flew over the runway 21 threshold at a radioaltitude (RA) of approximately 180 ft, with an IAS of 175 kt (Vref+41) and the flaps deployed to an intermediate position of 25°, as a result of the “flap load relief” mechanism.
As the captain stated later, he realized that the landing was going to be long and that the runway was wet. That is why he decided to increase the selected thrust on the autobrake system from the number 2 position that was initially set to the maximum (MAX) position.
After a prolonged flare, the airplane touched the runway at about its halfway point, some 1,300 m from the 21 threshold and at a speed of 157 kt (Vref+23). The autobrake was disengaged five seconds after touchdown. Maximum manual braking was applied from that point on. The reversers were not engaged until 13 seconds after touchdown, and the engines were unable to reach sufficient rpm’s until the airplane had practically come to a full stop.
The airplane ran off the end of the runway at a ground speed (GS) of 51 kt and traveled over the 60 m of the stopway, before stopping approximately one meter away from the 03 threshold jet blast barrier, alongside the airport’s perimeter fence.

The cause of the incident was a high-energy unstabilized approach followed by a landing with excessive speed, 1300 m past the threshold, with a wet runway. In addition, neither the autobrake nor the reversers was used efficiently. A contributing factor to the incident was a combination of deficiencies involving several aspects of CRM (Crew Resource Management).

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