On 7th February 2017, a Western Air Saab 340 operating flight WT708 was damaged in a runway incursion at Grand Bahama Int’l Airport. The main left side landing gear collapsed on the landing roll, causing the aircraft to veer left off the runway and into nearby bushes.
All 33 occupants were safely and successfully evacuated.
Flight WT708 was climbing out of Grand Bahamas Int’l Airport at about 17:00L (22:00Z) when the crew observed abnormal indications from the electrical systems on board and decided to return to Grand Bahamas International Airport. During the landing roll out on Runway 06 the aircraft suffered the left main gear collapse.
The aircraft involved in the incident is 30.5 year old Saab 340A C6-HBW (MSN 67). One of the oldest in the Western Air fleet, the Bahamas based aircraft first flew on 22nd August 1986. She has previously seen service with Swedair from 1986 to 1993 and Air Nelson from 1993 to 2007.
Western Air flight WT708 is a domestic scheduled passenger flight from Freeport – Grand Bahama Int’l Airport (FPO/MYGF) to Nassau-Lynden Pindling Int’l Airport (NAS/MYNN), Bahamas.
According to local media reports, two passengers were taken to hospital to be treated for minor injuries.
Shortly after the incident, the airline Western Air released a statement:
“Shortly after take off, the Captain noticed an indication pertaining to one of the electrical systems, he communicated with air traffic control (ATC) and followed protocol to return the aircraft back to the airport as a precaution.”
The aircraft made a normal landing with both landing gears in place, however once the aircraft proceeded down the runway and was preparing to turn onto the taxiway, the left gear malfunctioned, causing the aircraft to swerve off the runway.
All passengers and crew were evacuated of the aircraft safely.”
Bahamas’ Air Accident Investigation Department also released a report saying:
“Shortly after takeoff the aircraft suffered a problem with its landing gear and returned to Grand Bahamas Airport. Shortly after touchdown, the left main gear collapsed causing the aircraft to leave the runway and come to a stop on soft ground amid bushes on the left side of Runway 06. Minor injuries were reported.”
METARs leading up to, around the time of and after the incident happened
MYGF 080000Z 00000KT 99999 FEW020 SCT035 24/21 A2999
MYGF 072300Z 16003KT 9999 SCT020 25/19 A2999
MYGF 072200Z 15005KT 9999 BKN020 25/21 A2999
MYGF 072100Z 15008KT 9999 BKN020 26/21 A2999
MYGF 072000Z 17008KT 9999 BKN020 26/21 A3000
MYGF 071900Z 19007KT 9999 BKN020 27/21 A3002
MYGF 071800Z 14005KKT 9999 BKN025 27/21 A3005
This incident is unfolding and we will continue to update you on the investigation.