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Two safety recommendations issued to improve aviation safety on account of the aviation accident of 3 October 2016 in Oulu

Published 15.5.2017

A Reims F406 Caravan II aircraft (OH-OTL) was operating a routine cargo flight from Rovaniemi Airport to Oulu on 3 October 2016. The aircraft had a crew of two pilots and carried mail as cargo. The aircraft had been deemed airworthy in accordance with applicable airworthiness requirements when departing for the flight. The pilots and mechanics were appropriately trained and had valid licences and qualifications. The right main landing gear failed during landing. The aircraft sustained damage, but there were no personal injuries.

The Safety Investigation Authority has decided to issue two safety recommendations in order to avoid similar accidents in the future and to improve aviation safety.

Firstly, the Safety Investigation Authority recommends that the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) require the aircraft type certificate holder to review and update the maintenance instructions for Reims F406 aircraft, so that any deficiencies in the main landing gear installation instructions are rectified. The landing gear installation instructions do not cover all the necessary phases of work, and the order of phases is impractical in some places. Installation instructions for the pivot pin also provide no warning of the possibility of incorrect installation.

Immediately before the flight in question, the aircraft had undergone scheduled landing gear maintenance in which the main landing gear had been detached from the aircraft. An installation error was made when reattaching the right landing gear during maintenance. Checks made during installation were inadequate, and even the final inspection of the work did not cover the correct fitting or securing of the pivot pin. Incorrect or insufficient instructions do not adequately support the performance of the work. The risk of maintenance errors increases and flight safety is compromised.

Secondly, the Safety Investigation Authority recommends that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the United States require the aircraft type certificate holder to review and, where necessary, update the maintenance instructions for the Cessna 404 and any other aircraft types with a trailing-link landing gear, so that any deficiencies found in the main landing gear installation instructions are rectified. It is possible that the landing gear installation instructions do not cover all the necessary phases or work and that the order of phases is impractical in some places.

The Reims F406 aircraft type is based on the Cessna 404. Both aircraft have the same landing gear construction, and maintenance instructions may also be partly the same. The same landing gear model may also have been used in other aircraft types manufactured by Cessna.