|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||airport : iad|
|Altitude||agl bound lower : 0|
agl bound upper : 0
|Controlling Facilities||tower : lhr|
|Operator||common carrier : air carrier|
|Make Model Name||Medium Large Transport|
|Flight Phase||descent : approach|
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : captain|
oversight : pic
|Qualification||pilot : atp|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 240|
flight time total : 11900
|Anomaly||aircraft equipment problem : less severe|
other anomaly other
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : declared emergency|
flight crew : overcame equipment problem
|Consequence||faa : investigated|
WX at dulles was reported as west 4 obscured, 1 1/4 s-f 229/19/18/3608/019. When flaps were selected on the approach to runway 1R, a 'flap fault' light illuminated on the annunciator panel and the flaps failed to extend. We missed the approach and asked for vectors around the area to troubleshoot the problem. Upon completion for the appropriate emergency checklist, verifying visually that indeed the flaps would not extend, and talking to our dispatch and maintenance people, I realized that a flaps up landing would have to be made. We circled for approximately 40 mins to burn off fuel to lower our landing weight and determined that our landing would require approximately 7600' and an approach speed to touchdown of 165 KTS. Braking action on the 11500' runway was reported as fair and all other airports within our fuel range had the same or worse conditions due to the snowstorm. The approach was normal and at 400-500' AGL we had the runway in sight. I then descended visually and flattened out our approach angle as per company trainers procedure and made a landing touching down approximately 500' from the approach end of the runway. I was concerned about our high approach speed and the braking action on the snow covered runway and elected to land close to the approach end. The landing was normal and the aircraft decelerated surprisingly well, and we turned off about halfway down the runway. After clearing the runway, we contacted ground control and asked them to secure the emergency equipment that I requested before landing. I then hear a conversation over the frequency between an emergency veh and ground control that one of our main gear tires may have hit one of the runway threshold lights. There had been no indication in the cockpit or cabin that we may have made contact with a runway light. I then taxied to our gate and our maintenance met the aircraft, inspected it and found no damage. I believe that if we did contact the runway light, it was because of my concern over the stopping distance available on the snow covered runway, the high approach speed, the flatter than normal approach as per company procedure and the reduced visual cues due to the snow on the approach and touchdown areas creating a sort of white-out effect. My suggestions to prevent a recurrence of these types of incidents would be to expand flight trainers to include more simulated flaps up approachs, specific desired touchdown points on the types of and expanded information available to pilots on the clearance between aircraft structures and runway or runway obstructions at different flap settings and different touchdown points. Also, I strongly suggest that more specific information be made available to pilots, such as a specific coefficient of friction, that would be measured on the entire length of a wet or snow covered runway and could then be applied directly to aircraft landing distance charts. The pilots would then have a more accurate idea of runway stopping distances other than that reported by previous aircraft or some airport ground veh. I understand this type of information is available in some foreign countries.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: ACR MLG UNABLE TO EXTEND FLAPS MADE NO FLAP LNDG AND STRUCK RWY END LIGHT ON APCH.
Narrative: WX AT DULLES WAS RPTED AS W 4 OBSCURED, 1 1/4 S-F 229/19/18/3608/019. WHEN FLAPS WERE SELECTED ON THE APCH TO RWY 1R, A 'FLAP FAULT' LIGHT ILLUMINATED ON THE ANNUNCIATOR PANEL AND THE FLAPS FAILED TO EXTEND. WE MISSED THE APCH AND ASKED FOR VECTORS AROUND THE AREA TO TROUBLESHOOT THE PROB. UPON COMPLETION FOR THE APPROPRIATE EMER CHKLIST, VERIFYING VISUALLY THAT INDEED THE FLAPS WOULD NOT EXTEND, AND TALKING TO OUR DISPATCH AND MAINT PEOPLE, I REALIZED THAT A FLAPS UP LNDG WOULD HAVE TO BE MADE. WE CIRCLED FOR APPROX 40 MINS TO BURN OFF FUEL TO LOWER OUR LNDG WT AND DETERMINED THAT OUR LNDG WOULD REQUIRE APPROX 7600' AND AN APCH SPD TO TOUCHDOWN OF 165 KTS. BRAKING ACTION ON THE 11500' RWY WAS RPTED AS FAIR AND ALL OTHER ARPTS WITHIN OUR FUEL RANGE HAD THE SAME OR WORSE CONDITIONS DUE TO THE SNOWSTORM. THE APCH WAS NORMAL AND AT 400-500' AGL WE HAD THE RWY IN SIGHT. I THEN DESCENDED VISUALLY AND FLATTENED OUT OUR APCH ANGLE AS PER COMPANY TRAINERS PROC AND MADE A LNDG TOUCHING DOWN APPROX 500' FROM THE APCH END OF THE RWY. I WAS CONCERNED ABOUT OUR HIGH APCH SPD AND THE BRAKING ACTION ON THE SNOW COVERED RWY AND ELECTED TO LAND CLOSE TO THE APCH END. THE LNDG WAS NORMAL AND THE ACFT DECELERATED SURPRISINGLY WELL, AND WE TURNED OFF ABOUT HALFWAY DOWN THE RWY. AFTER CLEARING THE RWY, WE CONTACTED GND CTL AND ASKED THEM TO SECURE THE EMER EQUIP THAT I REQUESTED BEFORE LNDG. I THEN HEAR A CONVERSATION OVER THE FREQ BTWN AN EMER VEH AND GND CTL THAT ONE OF OUR MAIN GEAR TIRES MAY HAVE HIT ONE OF THE RWY THRESHOLD LIGHTS. THERE HAD BEEN NO INDICATION IN THE COCKPIT OR CABIN THAT WE MAY HAVE MADE CONTACT WITH A RWY LIGHT. I THEN TAXIED TO OUR GATE AND OUR MAINT MET THE ACFT, INSPECTED IT AND FOUND NO DAMAGE. I BELIEVE THAT IF WE DID CONTACT THE RWY LIGHT, IT WAS BECAUSE OF MY CONCERN OVER THE STOPPING DISTANCE AVAILABLE ON THE SNOW COVERED RWY, THE HIGH APCH SPD, THE FLATTER THAN NORMAL APCH AS PER COMPANY PROC AND THE REDUCED VISUAL CUES DUE TO THE SNOW ON THE APCH AND TOUCHDOWN AREAS CREATING A SORT OF WHITE-OUT EFFECT. MY SUGGESTIONS TO PREVENT A RECURRENCE OF THESE TYPES OF INCIDENTS WOULD BE TO EXPAND FLT TRAINERS TO INCLUDE MORE SIMULATED FLAPS UP APCHS, SPECIFIC DESIRED TOUCHDOWN POINTS ON THE TYPES OF AND EXPANDED INFO AVAILABLE TO PLTS ON THE CLRNC BTWN ACFT STRUCTURES AND RWY OR RWY OBSTRUCTIONS AT DIFFERENT FLAP SETTINGS AND DIFFERENT TOUCHDOWN POINTS. ALSO, I STRONGLY SUGGEST THAT MORE SPECIFIC INFO BE MADE AVAILABLE TO PLTS, SUCH AS A SPECIFIC COEFFICIENT OF FRICTION, THAT WOULD BE MEASURED ON THE ENTIRE LENGTH OF A WET OR SNOW COVERED RWY AND COULD THEN BE APPLIED DIRECTLY TO ACFT LNDG DISTANCE CHARTS. THE PLTS WOULD THEN HAVE A MORE ACCURATE IDEA OF RWY STOPPING DISTANCES OTHER THAN THAT RPTED BY PREVIOUS ACFT OR SOME ARPT GND VEH. I UNDERSTAND THIS TYPE OF INFO IS AVAILABLE IN SOME FOREIGN COUNTRIES.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of August 2007 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.