Be-200ES strikes tree, lands safely

Be-1200ES wing damage tree strike
This is reportedly damage to the wing of a Be-200ES after striking a tree while fighting a wildfire in Portugal.

A Be-200ES struck a tree August 14 while fighting a fire in Portugal but thankfully was able to land safely at Leiria. The jet-powered amphibious water scooper sustained major damage to a pontoon, the right wing leading edge, and the right side wing flaps. There were no reports of injuries to the crew. Other photos of the damage can be seen here.

Since last week two Be-200ES air tankers have been on loan to Portugal by the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations after a rash of numerous fires in the country and on Madeira Island.

This is not the first time a Russian Be-200 hit a tree in Portugal. A similar accident occurred July 6, 2006 when the aircraft was leased to the Portuguese government as a trial to evaluate its effectiveness. After scooping water on a lake the left wing hit a tree.

From the Portuguese newspaper Correio da Manhã at the time:

…While hitting the top of the trees, leaves and some wood entered the left engine, which didn’t blow up, but that had to be turned off and the pilot was forced to release fuel for safety reasons. The release of the fuel started small wildfires across the area, reaching some houses, which were quickly extinguished by firefighters and helitack units of the GNR’s Intervention, Protection and Rescue Group.

The airplane was able to do an emergency landing at the Monte Real Air Base.

Until this month, Be-200 air tankers had not been used in Portugal since the 2006 incident. Maybe they’ll wait another 10 years before they try again.

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2 thoughts on “Be-200ES strikes tree, lands safely”

  1. Russian pilots are risking their lives for the salvation of the Portuguese from fires . As is known, the effectiveness of aviation firefighting increases significantly if the dropping of water from the heights below 150 feet.

    The risks are significantly increased when flying over rugged terrain, but we need to save people and aviation firefighters carry out their mission. There is nothing surprising in the collision of the Be-200 with the tree tops in Portugal. It is not a rare type of incident for firefighting planes dropping water at altitudes of less than 150 feet including in the mountains.

    The designers of the Russian aircraft Be-200 doing everything to ensure the safety of the flight even in such difficult conditions. During the certification process of firefighting amphibious aircraft Be-200 in EASA it was adopted a modification of the control laws in the fly-by-wire system, ensuring the limitation of the maximum achievable flight angle of attack when the aircraft control stick is fully pulled on.
    This enables the pilot to perform strenuous maneuvers with full deflection of the controls, if necessary, for withdrawal of the aircraft from critical situations without fear of stalling,
    Like in the layout of the cockpit of attack aircraft, Be-200 has the fighter type control stick with engine thrust levers control engine thrust under the left arm of the pilot, synchronous with the engine TCL on the pedestal .
    The Be-200 has a high structural strength and high thrust-to-weight characteristic of the seaplanes. The wing of the aircraft protects engines from both water jets and ingress of foreign objects.

    Positive operating experience of Be-200 clearly shows that the certification requirements for the firefighting planes need to be supplemented with the mandatory requirement of the equipment of such type aircraft by electronic limiters of the maximum angle of attack with full deflection of aircraft control (an active electronic safety system, like automotive ABS, TCS, and others).
    By calculations and testing of models (like the demonstration of ditching for a conventional transport category airplanes) it must be demonstrated the safety of the completion of flight of the aircraft after the collision with the tree tops (like a crash-test for cars

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