The pilots’ decision to use normal, non-icing procedures while landing their Embrear Phenom 100 in known icing conditions led to a “stall on very short final,” hard landing, and collapsed landing gear before the twinjet veered off the runway at Paris Le Bourget Airport on Feb. 8, 2021, according to the newly issued final report from French aircraft accident investigation agency BEA. There were no serious injuries to the pilots or passenger, but the aircraft was written off.
According to the report, the pilots flew the approach at a Vref of 97 knots, the manufacturer’s normal procedure for non-icing conditions. However, this was 22 knots below the manufacturer-specified approach speed in icing conditions and close to the stall speed in the event of ice contamination.
For the conditions of the day, the airplane’s weight, and configuration selected by the crew, compliance with the manufacturer’s procedure for an approach in icing conditions would have prohibited landing at Le Bourget. This is because the one-engine inoperative go-around climb rate was not sufficient to clear obstacles and the landing distance available was less than required.
At 3,000 feet, after a single cycle of the wing and stabilizer deicers, the crew saw through the cockpit window that ice built up on the wing leading edges had broken up. After that, the deicers were not used for the remainder of the flight. However, ice on the wing and stabilizer leading edges observed after the accident indicated that ice built up on the aircraft during final approach.
The BAE report also noted two previous Phenom 100 accidents under virtually identical circumstances: on Feb. 15, 2013, at Berlin Schonefeld Airport, in which there was substantial damage but no injuries, and on Dec. 8, 2014, at Gaithersburg Airport, Maryland. The latter killed the three people onboard and three others on the ground.