A BMI plane with 22 passengers on board overshot the runway after the pilot pulled on the parking brake by mistake during landing, a report has found.
The flight from Frankfurt – which was also carrying three crew – veered off the runway at Bristol Airport and came to a halt with the front wheel embedded in the grass.
A report by the Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) has revealed that the pilot engaged the parking brake instead of the air brake as he approached the runway.
The BMI plane that had 22 passengers, on the grass after it left the runway at Bristol Airport
The Embraer 145 plane came to a halt with the front wheel embedded in the grass
Although shaken by the experience, the passengers and crew on board the Embraer 145 plane were unscathed.
Audio recordings from inside the cockpit revealed the panic of the captain – who was under training and new to both the aircraft and the airline.
The commander – who was mentoring the trainee captain – suggests that the speed brake should be used as the aircraft comes in for landing.
The pilot responds: ‘It is, oh no it’s not, who closed that?’
A synopsis of the incident says the flight crew noticed the nose gear touched down ‘sharply’ after the main gear before the pilot lost control.
The report reads: ‘The pilot flying was unable to maintain directional control during the landing roll and the aircraft ran off the left side of the runway onto the grass.
The pilot engaged the parking brake instead of the air brake as he approached the runway
The commander suggests that the speed brake should be used as the aircraft comes in to land
‘At some point during the landing the throttles were moved forward, reducing the rate of deceleration.
‘As the aircraft left the paved surface the crew realised that the landing had been carried out with the emergency/parking brake set.
‘The aircraft may have remained on the runway surface but for the addition of forward thrust during the landing roll.’
The pilot had had 17 hours of flight time in the Embraer 145 and his training had progressed well up to that point, the report states.
Investigators concluded the shape and location of the brake levers may have contributed to the incident on December 22, 2017.
‘The accident arose as a result of the inadvertent selection of the emergency/parking brake instead of the speed brake,’ the conclusion reads.
The damaged landing gear and tyre following the incident in Bristol on December 22, 2017
The passengers and crew on board the plane – which landed at Bristol Airport – were unscathed
‘The levers are of similar shape and sited close to each other but with a different appearance and mode of action. There is also a brake on indicator light.
‘These risk controls proved ineffective in preventing the inadvertent selection of the emergency/parking brake both on this occasion and on at least two previous occasions.
‘Once the parking brake had been set there were opportunities to detect and correct the error, but a busy flight deck environment together with a high workload contributed to it going unnoticed.
‘After touchdown, the aircraft may have remained on the runway surface but for the addition of forward thrust during the landing roll.
‘The manufacturer stated that it did not intend to conduct a system review relating to the parking brake status.’