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Issue Six - 2001

Captain In Command (2)

Windshear Encounter
Introduction training, CRM and decision making. Lesson. Any probability of encounter-
ing a hazardous situation does not
We are told that the probability of Capt. Ray Sherwood and F/O. Craig recognise age, experience or length
encountering a microburst wind shear Rable were crewing an Air Zimbabwe of service - if it can happen it will
is once in two lifetimes. However the BAe146 - Flight UM 225 from happen, probably to you!
consequences of an encounter are Victoria Falls to Hwange. Ray was in
potentially so severe that all flight his last two weeks of his aviation Narrative Capt. Ray Sherwood
crews should be trained in the career prior to retirement; he would
recognition of wind shear and, for an have hoped not to encounter wind The set up.
inadvertent encounter, the appropriate shear nor have to deal with the
flight manoeuvres to escape the ensuing diversion with aircraft
"We were approximately 21nm from
hazard. Many modern aircraft have systems failures and a landing with
the airfield. We had the runway in
automatic detection systems (ATP, unsafe gear warnings. But he did.
sight during the descent once we
BAe146) and some have automatic Furthermore, Ray , Chris, the other
were below the general cloud (FL
recovery flight guidance (Avro RJ). five crew members and all fifty nine
105 7000ft a.g.l.). No Cumulonimbus
passengers survived to tell the tale.
was observed, but there was some
The following report is of an incident For all of us this incident is a classic
rain falling from a large Cumulus
initiated by a wind shear encounter; it for flight safety and a first class
near the airfield. The weather radar
is an excellent example of many good example of a 'Captain in Command'
was on and showed weather returns
aspects of flight safety, in particular ( See JETSETS Issue 5)
on track. ATC were asked for further
human behavior - experience,
weather information. The reply was

Issue Six - 2001

'light rain was falling at the airfield'.

The runway in use was 08, wind
020/10kts, QNH 1013, OAT +32ºC,
Few at 7000ft, Visibility 10km plus.
(A nice summers day in Africa)

I realised that the rain area would

probably be on our final approach.
Thus the briefing was for the Non
Precision VOR NDB 08 (see chart).
As a supplement to the approach
plate I noted several passing altitudes
for DME ranges - the DME was not a
declared nav aid but was in service -
the altitude and distances were a back
up. At 'PO' the altitude should be
4700ft and the DME reads 3.8 nm.
The Minima at 'WN/VWN' is 3850ft
(307ft a.g.l.) this requires an 850ft
descent in 3.8 nm i.e. approx. 220
ft/nm. The radio altimeter bug was
set to 310ft for advisory purposes
only. F/O Rabie was briefed to call
out the DME range and altitudes. Air
Zimbabwe's standard operating
procedure requires that at 500ft agl
the aircraft should be in the slot. The
slot is :-
IAS Vref +5 to +15 kts
Rate of descent 600 to 800'/min ILS
LOC and G/S within 1 dot . ADF 5
deg L or R of inbound track. If these
criteria are not met a go around is to
be carried out. - On this approach we
were about to reach these decision
points!" down. After 'PO' we flew into rain l0 kts.
which increased in intensity as we Full power was applied.
Lesson. Always prepare back up got closer to the runway. The noise The pitch attitude was held and then
plans:- use all available aids, work level of the rain hitting the aircraft adjusted more nose up.
together as a crew, use an instrument became louder. The turbulence The stick shaker was respected as per
approach when VFR flight is in increased; the instruments were all inadvertent wind shear encounter drill
doubt; note altitudes with distance, perfectly visible i.e. the turbulence by adjusting the pitch attitude.
calculate the descent path - these was not severe. F/O Rabie called 100ft to minima
preparations may not always be used "Just before the 'Standard' 500ft call - (3850ft) and recalls the altimeter
but when things go wrong……. we were approaching 4050ft (QNH) - going down very fast. I concentrated
I heard the F/O Say 'What the.…..' on flying a suitable pitch attitude and
heading. A second stick shaker
At 4050ft the aircraft suddenly and activation occurred. The pitch attitude
And things do go wrong. very rapidly descended towards tree at onset of both stick shakes was well
top level (the actual altitude was not below the normal go around attitude.
"The aircraft crossed 'PO' in the observed on the radio altimeter). The aircraft attitude was again
landing configuration at 4700ft. The stick shaker operated. I increased avoiding stick shaker warn-
DME 3.8 - with all checks immediately advanced the thrust ings. Target attitude was 12 degrees
completed. The pitch attitude on an levers, checked the pitch attitude, nose up.
approach with normal approach which was already 4 degrees nose
power of 65% N1 is 3 degrees nose up. Lesson. Remember what was taught
The IAS had dropped to Vref minus in the simulator - wind shear go-
Issue Six - 2001

Fig 1

around - maximum power, aim for a visibility from 'WN' to the airfield system 'Hi Temp' Abnormal check-
pitch attitude of 12 degrees but was more than l0km.with no cloud lists were carried out (No flaps,
always respect the stick shaker. up to 7000ft" emergency gear lowering, no rudders
no spoilers/lift dump). An evaluation
The aircraft climbed away -------------------------- of the aircraft state was made with
through some treetops in the climb visual inspections of the engines,
out! i.e. from below the height of the At this time Ray and his crew had landing gear, flaps and wings being
trees. The airfield chart shows trees survived what has been subsequently carried out from the cabin by an on
on the 08 end at 3599ft. The 08 shown to be a very severe microburst board engineer. He reported that
threshold elevation is 3543ft. This wind shear (once in two life times?) there was no visible damage or leaks
would give a possible tree top height so what next. Just imagine what the evident. After crew consultation and
(12 years ago) of 56ft. Some growth crews the state of mind was - what agreement the decision was to divert
could have taken place of course. would you do next? Deal with the to Harare. Note: Hwange is a remote
next level of emergency? airfield; the nearest medical facilities
The flaps and gear were only are 75 nm distant.
retracted when clear of possible Lesson. If you have been unfortunate The Senior Flight Attendant was
ground contact, at this stage I wanted to have a severe safety event you are informed; I informed the passengers
to have the best aircraft performance not exempt from another! Having using the PA as to what had hap-
in case we had engine failures due to one event can to lead to a consequen- pened and our intention to divert to
damage sustained. tial event. Harare. ATC were informed and
In the initial climb away we were out clearance obtained to climb to FL 90.
of the rain and in clear weather. This kept us clear of cloud. Later we
What next? climbed to FL 110 but the pressurisa-
The aircraft was levelled off at 6000'
and 180kts in a clean configuration. tion was not used due to
Clearly the aircraft was damaged; - concern over possible structural dam-
The engines when checked were double hydraulic failure!
found to be all operating normally age. The IAS was held at 200kts
The Green hydraulic system 'Lo within the Gear limiting speed of
with no abnormal vibration levels. I Quantity' and Yellow hydraulic
observed the airfield ahead. The 205kts. The Fuel remaining was

5100kg. The fuel flow
was 400kg/hour per

Lesson. Evaluate the

situation, decide on the
appropriate course of
action. Use all available
resources; then commu-
nicate - this is an
essential part of CRM.

The cabin crew carried

out a full Emergency
Briefing en route. (The
tour leader translating
into French solved the
problem of giving the
non English speaking
French tour group the
emergency briefing).
The PA was used to
keep cabin staff and
passengers informed
during the flight. Harare
airport was informed of
our status and warned to
expect a fly past if we
had landing gear prob-
lems. The weather at
Harare, which was 190 kts and the aircraft was then now going to land; "ATTENTION
given as fair had now changed to pulled up to see if "G" forces would CREW ON STATIONS" call was
large rain showers. Final preparations get to the nose gear down. It stayed made when the flap was selected to
were made in the holding pattern. UP. Whilst turning the Right main 33 the Gear warning horn operated
gear GREEN light came on but later because the gear was not locked
When cleared for a fly past of the it was to revert back to RED down. 30 flap was reselected for a
tower to check the landing gear the
short time. 33 flap was reset at about
Yellow Hydraulic system was Lesson. Continue to evaluate the 800ft.
re-instated, it operated normally and situation, take time if available, do
for the rest of the flight. 18 flap was not rush. The approach was flown with the
lowered, the gear was lowered using
gear indications: Left GREEN, Nose
the emergency system. As had been
Emergency landing RED and Right RED
expected we had a problem. The gear
The F/O made the "BRACE" call on
indications were Left GREEN, Nose
A further tower fly by was planned PA at 250ft.
RED, and Right RED The fly past
but due to heavy rain and turbulence I made the landing on the Left main
was made at 160kts to the left of the
on the approach it was abandoned. It wheel only, this was to keep
tower, ATC reported that they were
was now almost dark. The Fuel was directional control and also our
unable to ascertain the exact status of
down to 1200kgs and having crosswind technique. The Right main
the gear. However two light aircraft
exhausted all means of getting the wheel was gently lowered onto the
pilots taxiing came on the radio to
gear down we had to land. The ground. The Right main gear held
say that our main gear was down but
landing weather was:- 330/08 kts, and in fact was down and locked. At
the nose gear was up. At this stage
light rain falling and the visibility this time the nose was held up clear
we concentrated on getting the right
good. of the runway; at approximately
main gear down. The aircraft was
The R/W had been foamed for the 80kts and as elevator control was
yawed to see if the gear doors would
Nose gear UP landing. ATC were not decreasing I gently lowered the nose
drag the gear fully down. The
too sure of its effectiveness as the onto the runway. The ground contact
engineer in the cabin reported that it
heavy rain might wash the foam was "juddery" and the noise level
appeared to be down but there was
away. increased.
some damage visible to the gear
The Cabin was told that we were The Yellow wheel brakes were
doors. We now increased the IAS to
applied and the Aircraft brought to a
Issue Six - 2001

stop. As we were stopping I shut off had minor injuries which were sus- dotted line. A windshear downburst is
the fuel levers and once stopped tained during the slide evacuations. shown a negative value.
applied the parking brake. On the PA
I ordered the "EVACUATION" with Lesson. A text book example of an The simulation showed that the
both sides of the aircraft to be used. evacuation - checks, CRM and aircraft encountered a classic
communication. microburst wind shear. The core of
The evacuation the down flow appears to have been
FDR and incident analysis. approximately 7,000 ft (1.6 nm)
The F/O carried out his Evacuation diameter. The overall microburst
drills which I monitored I gave the The Zimbabwe authorities in diameter, including out flow and up
F/O the fire extinguisher; I took my accordance with ICAO Annex 13 draught is approximately 20,000 ft
torch. I estimate an elapsed time investigated the accident. BAE (3.3 nm).
about 50 secs since ordering the SYSTEMS was given access to the
Evacuation. I checked the whole FDR and requested to assess the The aircraft's initial, undetected,
Cabin and Toilets for people none aircraft flight path and windshear encounter with the microburst was
were found. The Emergency light conditions. with the increasing head wind and up
system was working and giving good Fig 1 shows the FDR radio altitude draught. However as the head wind
lighting in the cabin. As I was about plotted against along track distance and up draught changed to a severe
to exit the Aircraft the F/O asked me based on the computed ground speed; down draught, the aircraft's vertical
to switch off the aircraft batteries. the lowest altitude was 35 ft. By flight path followed the vertical wind
Once out of the aircraft I checked on evaluating the FDR airspeed and profile. The head wind sheared
the passenger evacuation. All had attitude data in a design simulator it rapidly, -40 ft/sec to zero, a decrease
been accounted for; 39 on the right was possible to reproduce the aircraft of 25 kts, at the same time as encoun-
hand side and 20 on the left. The actual air-mass flight path. In Fig.2 tering the peak down draught of -30
cabin crew was also OK. I made my the horizontal profile, headwind ft/sec, a descent rate of 1800 ft/min.
way to the right hand group of pas- shear, is shown as a solid line, The rapid loss of airspeed resulted
sengers and cabin crew. Once we had increasing headwind being positive. from the head wind shear. The initial
done all that we could at the Aircraft As a comparison the dashed line stall warning occurring in the down
the F/O and I were taken back to the shows the horizontal wind for the draught, probably due to changes in
airport by car. We joined the passen- FAA 'Level 4' wind shear training angle of attack rate as opposed to the
gers and Cabin Crew in the Business model. Fig 3 shows the correspond- steady angle of stall a warning.
class departure lounge. Here the Air ing vertical velocity, down burst; the
Force Doctors gave us a medical FAA profile is again shown as a
check. Of the 59 Pax I understand 10

Fig 2

Fig 1

Issue Six - 2001

Fig 3

The elapsed time from The BAe146 characteristics of and experience.

having high lift, rapid engine First Officer Craig Rable continues
the initial crew response and robust construction flying with Air Zimbabwe. He is
awareness at 880 ft to made a positive contribution to this probably their most experienced pilot
in windshear (if not the most
the minimum altitude of incident. If the microburst encounter
experienced in the world).
happened at any lower altitude or if
35 ft was only 20 there was any lesser crew response,
seconds. then the resulting aircraft flight path Lesson. Experience cannot be
could have led to a major accident. taught; it can only be gained. To
avoid gaining unnecessary
Thus the aircraft's average vertical
Lesson. Follow recommended windshear experience, note the above
speed was 2400 ft/min; approximate-
procedures to give the optimum lessons in Captaincy, approach
ly a 12 degree flight path.
performance. preparation, flight procedure, CRM
Practice an encounter with the FAA and decision making.
During the manufacturers certifica-
tion stall tests and simulator tests of level 4 wind shear in the simulator.
Lesson. Windshear, like many other
stall recovery in the landing
Lesson. Severe wind shear or micro severe aviation weather hazards, is
configuration with approach power
downburst conditions can occur near best avoided. Note the warning signs
settings of 60 to 65% N, the stick
any cumulus clouds; they are not - clouds, temperature, and rain - if in
shaker operated at pitch attitudes of
limited to Cb clouds. any doubt during an approach,
10 to 12 degrees nose up. The IAS
commence a go around immediately;
for stick shaker operation at the
Lesson. The most significant yet if on the ground do not take off.
Landing weight of 33,356kgs was
97kts. The IAS at the stick shake in unusual warning of the encounter
the windshear (104kts ) was well was the crew's awareness of the
above the normal stall speed of exceptional noise of very intense BAe 146 and ATP
97kts; the pitch attitude was only 4 rain.
Service Bulletins install a
degrees nose up, this was probably
Epilogue windshear warning
due to the turbulence within the
microbust. Refer to the BAe146 system that provide basic
MOM Vol 2 write up on windshear. Captain Ray Sherwood has now flight director
retired from active flight duty, we guidance for recovery.
The crew actions were in accordance wish him a safe and lengthy
with Manufacturers Operating retirement. However many of you
may meet him during occasions of
“Enhanced” GPWS
Manual (MOM) and the aircraft
performance achieved was as temporary duty in the BAe 146 provides a windshear
anticipated for the conditions. simulators; take heed of his advice warning system.