Bristol Airport plane skidded after brake-on landing

Scene of the accident Image copyright AAIB
Image caption An emergency evacuation was not deemed necessary but the plane was met by fire trucks

A plane accident which disrupted the Christmas getaway for thousands of people had landed with its parking brake on, a report has revealed.

The BMI flight skidded off the runway while landing at Bristol Airport on 22 December 2017, coming to a halt after travelling 120 metres along grass.

No one was hurt, but some 70 flights were cancelled or diverted.

The AAIB said the pilot lost control because the emergency brake had been set instead of the speed brake.

During the approach to Bristol the pilot said he decided to deploy the speed brake to lose excess height.

But despite him telling the commander [who was in the co-pilot's seat] it had been deployed, data from the flight data recorder confirmed this was not the case.

Image copyright AAIB

Shortly after the commander suggested directly that the speed brake should be used to slow the plane, the pilot responded: "It is, oh no its not".

This action was recorded by the plane's data recorder.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) noted the levers for both brakes are "of similar shape and sited close to each other" in the cockpit of the Embraer 145 aircraft involved.

It believed "a high work load due to multiple radio interruptions contributed to the mistake going unnoticed".

Investigators found the pilot was unable to maintain direction during landing and the aircraft ran off the left side of the runway onto the grass.

Image copyright AAIB
Image caption The plane's wheels became stuck in the mud

At some point during the landing the throttles were moved forward, reducing the rate of deceleration.

As the aircraft left the runway the crew realised that the landing had been carried out with the emergency/parking brake set.

But the AAIB said the aircraft may have remained on the runway surface but for the addition of forward thrust during the landing.

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