Report / April 10, 2001
Location: CFB Comox, British Columbia
Status: Investigation Complete
The aircraft was number five of a 9-plane formation landing after an on-field air show practice at 19 Wing Comox. During touchdown on runway 29, the aircraft experienced a firm landing and the right-hand main gear and nose-gear collapsed.
The aircraft was kept on the runway and came to a stop without interfering with the rest of the formation. The pilot shut down the aircraft without further incident. There were no injuries.
The positions in the formation are depicted as follows:
As the formation touched down, number five overcorrected from being slightly high on number 4 and experienced a firm landing. The aircraft then bounced and became airborne. The aircraft then, being affected by the preceding aircrafts jet wash and down wash, quickly descended towards the ground, struck the runway surface again and all three landing gears contacted the runway surface heavily. The right-hand main gear was forced upwards through the top surface of the right wing and collapsed. The nose-gear also partially collapsed. The aircraft became airborne again as the pilot attempted an overshoot, however, the engine had been rendered non-functional, as it had ingested FOD from the damaged nose gear. The aircraft was then settled back down on the runway surface, slid along the runway on the right-hand smoke tank, left-hand main gear and partially collapsed nose-gear, and came to a stop. The pilot egressed from the aircraft with no injuries.
The investigation is now complete.
The damage sustained by aircraft #5 occurred due to a hard landing after a bounced touch down exacerbated by preceding aircraft jet wash and down wash.
The inability to practice overshoots from this manoeuvre and possible ambiguity on overshoot options as well as a low level of experience during the "9" or "7" plane landing were potentially contributing factors in this accident.
Other peripheral issues with 431 (AD) Sqn such as; Team Lead duties; recent Team accident rates; internal pilot rotation and tour length; and generally lower CF pilot experience levels, were also highlighted.
The following safety actions have been taken or are recommended: