An investigation into a PSNI plane (BN2T-4S Islander, G-CGTC) that made an emergency landing at the City of Derry Airport on 12th November 2020 has revealed that the engine anti-icing system was not selected on before entry into cloud with an outside air temperature less than 5° and that the investigation further found that the pilot’s limited recent experience in icing conditions was likely to have been a contributory factor.
The Air Support Unit was called in during a security alert in Limavady to aid officers on the ground which was later declared a hoax, when the incident happened.
At the time Detective Superintendent Richard Campbell said: “The pilot and crew landed the plane safely without damage being caused and no injuries were sustained by those on board.
“The matter has now been referred to the Civil Aviation Authority and the Air Accidents Investigation Branch and we are fully co-operating with them as they work to establish the circumstances surrounding the engine failure.”
In a statement this morning the Air Accidents Investigation Branch said "A BN2T-4S Islander (G-CGTC) suffered a double engine failure, likely due to intake icing, while operating in instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) at approximately 7,000 ft amsl. After an initial glide descent both engines were successfully restarted and the aircraft made a powered landing at Eglinton.
"It is likely the engine anti-icing system was not selected on before entry into cloud with an outside air temperature less than 5°C. A build-up of ice in the engine ducts probably caused the engine symptoms noted by the pilot and the subsequent rollbacks and flameouts.
"The investigation found that the pilot’s limited recent experience in icing conditions was likely to have been a contributory factor, and that circumstances causing stress and fatigue could have affected his performance. Both engines were relit during the descent and a safe landing was made at Eglinton, although the airport was closed.
"The operator has taken safety action related to winter operations, use of anti-icing systems and pilot wellbeing."