Runway crash report released

A runway at Stornoway Airport.
A runway at Stornoway Airport.

A change in wind-speed could have caused the crash at Stornoway airport in January this year, a report has found.

Cabin crew members stated that during the takeoff the aircraft swung violently one way then the other before the ride became “very rough.”

The investigation heard that weather at the time of the takeoff featured “strong and gusty conditions.” The plane was battling gusts of 50 miles per hour when it veered off the runway.

It heard that the 46-year-old pilot tried to use the central rudder to correct the plane as it began to veer off course, but the action had little effect.

The plane travelled 250 metres off the runway onto the adjacent embankment and fell forward after its front wheels collapsed.

None of the 26 passengers or three crew on board was injured.

The report by the AAIB also revealed that a passenger on-board the flight opened a door after the crash without permission.

There were concerns about evacuating before the plane’s propellers had stopped, with the captain telling all passengers to remain in their seats.

But cabin crew allowed the passenger to help others out of the door once it had been opened, after noticing that the propeller on that side had stopped and the man was already assisting fellow passengers to evacuate.

Investigators discovered extensive damage to the nose landing gear, power-plants, and the underside of the aircraft.

Due to the damage sustained in the crash, it was not possible to conduct a detailed check of the steering system and its rigging, say investigators. But the report goes on to say that a visual inspection of the aircraft after the crash did not signal any pre-existing defects.

The report’s over-arching conclusion as to why the plane suddenly changed course is that it could have been down to a combination of wind-speed and direction.