An ATR 72-202, OY-LHA, sustained minor damage when it rolled over elevated runway edge lights when it attempted to take off while aligned with the runway edge lights along the right-hand side of runway 27L at Karup Airport in Denmark, according to an investigation report by the Danish AIB.
The Danish Air Transport flight was a scheduled domestic morning service to Copenhagen. At 06:15 hours local time, Karup tower instructed the flight crew to taxi to the holding point at runway 27L via taxiway E, and the aircraft was cleared to cross runway 27R.
At 06:19 hours, the first officer reported to Karup tower that the aircraft was at the holding point to runway 27L (the category II holding point). The aircraft was cleared for take-off.
The tower air traffic controller reported the wind conditions to be 230° and 5 knots, the runway visual range (RVR) at the threshold of runway 27L to be 1700 meters, and the RVR at the midpoint of runway 27L to be 1600 meters.
While taxiing and lining up the aircraft on the underrun of runway 27L, the flight crew did the before take-off procedures. A runway heading and GPS alignment check was performed without remarks.
During the before take-off preparations, the aircraft still moved forwards at a ground idle power setting on the underrun of runway 27L for approximately 30 seconds.
While slowly taxiing towards the threshold of runway 27L, the aircraft hit a runway edge light (red light) on the right-hand side of runway 27L.
At the threshold of runway 27L, the commander added take-off power.
During the initial take-off roll, the flight crew observed a thumping noise from the nose gear, and the commander realigned the nose gear slightly to the left, which was done to avoid the thumping noises caused by the nose gear hitting, what the flight crew thought, were the recessed runway centre line lights.
The right main gear hit elevated runway edge lights along the right-hand side of runway 27L.
When approaching the military arrester cable mechanism on the right-hand side of runway 27L, the commander realized that the aircraft was incorrectly lined up on the runway edge lights along the right-hand side of runway 27L instead of the runway centreline lights of runway 27L. The commander aborted the take-off and manoeuvred the aircraft back to the centreline of the runway of runway 27L.
Karup Airport is a military base that is also used for civil operations. Runway 27L measures 2929 x 45 M.
Runway centreline lights are spaced 15 m apart while the white runway edge lights are spaced 60 m apart. The arrester cables are located 391 m from the runway threshold.
In darkness and hazy weather conditions, the flight crew lined up the aircraft on the runway edge lights along the right-hand side of runway 27L instead of the runway centreline lights of runway 27L.
This resulted in a misaligned take-off roll over the elevated runway edge lights along the right-hand side of runway 27L leading to damages to the runway edge lights and the aircraft itself.
A combination of environmental, operational, and human factors contributed to the sequence of events:
– Dark night operation
– Reduced visibility
– Runway and taxiway environment, including an extra tarmac width on runway 27L, the absence of runway shoulder markings, the absence of taxiway centreline lighting, and the use of a displaced threshold
– Flight crew divided attention unintentionally provoked by the before take-off procedures and checks
– Flight crew fatigue
Official accident investigation report