TAM flight JJ3451 departed from Guararapes – Gilberto Freyre Airport (SBRF), Recife, Pernambuco to Pres. Juscelino Kubitschek Airport (SBBR), Brasília, Distrito Federal, for a regular transport flight with 06 crewmembers and 154 passengers on board.
On the final approach of RNAV (GNSS) Y procedure, for landing on runway 29R at SBBR, when passing the MDA (3.880 ft / 401ft AGL) and with the runway in sight, the autopilot of TAM flight JJ3451 was disengaged and the crew continued to land with visual references, until they encountered light rain conditions that quickly became a heavy rain.
They lost visual contact with the runway, and could not complete the approach.
The pilot initiated the reject landing procedure, but lost height, and the aircraft touched down prior to the start of the runway. Shortly after it touched down, the right landing gear struck one of the runway threshold lights.
The crew performed another RNAV (GNSS) Y procedure and made a safe final landing.
The aircraft sustained damage to the right landing gear tires (#3 and #4) and some minor damage to the fuselage.
None of the crewmembers or passengers was injured.
- PR-MHV got caught in a light rain during the final approach;
- the aircraft descended below the proper glidepath;
- the crew lost visual contact with the runway in an undetermined moment of the approach;
The crew of TAM flight JJ3451 initiated the go-around at 3.521 ft / 60ft AGL, 41 ft above THR 29R TDZ;
- the aircraft touched down prior to the runway threshold, and struck one of the threshold lights.
- the aircraft sustained minor damage;
- Visual illusions
It is possible that crew sensory impressions were affected by the rain at the final approach. Thus, crew can have recognized the runway position (vertically or horizontally) wrongly while they had visual references.
- Influence from the environment : the crew lost visual contact with the runway due to reduced visibility caused by heavy rain.
- It is also possible that a low-level light windshear/downburst affected the aircraft glidepath.
- Piloting judgment : it is possible that the crew had initiated a late go-around in the attempt to reestablish visual contact with the runway. However, the crew initiated the reject landing procedure at 41ft height in relation to RWY 29R TDZ.