Excessive approach speed and inadequate control of aircraft pitch during a crosswind landing in very blustery conditions caused a hard landing of an ATR-72 passenger plane at Shannon, Ireland, according to an AAIU investigation.
On July 17, 2011, an Aer Arann ATR-72 aircraft carried out a round trip from Shannon (SNN), Ireland to Manchester Airport (MAN), U.K. on behalf of Aer Lingus Regional. On the return leg, the crew commenced an approach in strong and gusty crosswind conditions. Following a turbulent approach difficulty was experienced in landing the aircraft, which contacted the runway in a nose-down attitude and bounced.
A go-around was performed and the aircraft was vectored for a second approach. During this second approach landing turbulence was again experienced. Following bounces the aircraft pitched nose down and contacted the runway heavily in a nose down attitude. The nose gear collapsed and the aircraft nose descended onto the runway. The aircraft sustained damage with directional control being lost. The aircraft came to rest at the junction of the runway and a taxiway.
The Irish Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) concluded that confusing wording in the FCOM led the crew to compute an excessive wind factor in the determination of their approach speed. The inexperienced pilot-in-command, with 212 flying hours as captain on ATR-72 aircraft, used an incorrect power handling technique while landing. It was also established that inadequate information was provided to the flight crew regarding crosswind landing techniques.