The condition of the u/c indicates the wheels made no contact with the ground, so it seems the a/c contacted in present and final attitude. Therefore this was more than a hard landing from a botched approach, or so it would appear.
Unfortunately this thread has quickly descended into the usual amateur-investigator nonsense.
You have clearly overlooked the fact that undercarriages appear to be in good condition thousands of times every day after 'contact with the ground'. How the hell can you detect that this undercarriage didn't contact the ground from pictures?
How the hell can you conclude that the aircraft 'contacted in present and final attitude'. That is highly improbable amateur speculation.
Who the hell are you to judge that it was a 'botched approach'?
You have provided clear evidence that amateurs should leave it to the professional accident investigators to do their job, rather than spout utter drivel and unfounded nonsense in an attempt to look clever - which, for the record, you don't!
Just wanted to add something : to people drawing quick conclusions (ie : 'cowboys' ...weather analysis based on METARs ....) . Remember that those crewmembers were friends and family members of some of us so , please , have a minimum amount of respect . Also try to understand that if they decided to leave the hold for a third approach on 17 , I'm pretty sure that they received an indication from Cork tower/App at that precise time that the VIS/RVR was at or above their Minima . For the rest , could we possibly wait until some form of official report gets out .
I am not familiar with the metroliner, and far from experienced, but I have a question about the fuel range of the aircraft.
Given that the flight originated in Belfast, flew to Cork and made two approaches and then may have held for some period of time (ie the 20 minute queue, maybe waiting for the weather to improve?) before making a final approach, is it possible that at that time the fuel status necessitated an approach in to Cork again?
I'm not implying that they were close to emergency levels but if the weather over much of Ireland was similar is it possible they had no divert options at that point?
My deepest sympathies go to all who are involved or affected.
I flew this type (and hold a type rating, USA in this type) in the middle 1980's.
We flew it at a regional airline in the USA. AT that time we were not required to have either a flight data recorder or a cockpit voice recorder. European rules may be different.
In the USA, even for regional airlines, YOU SIMPLY CANNOT BEGIN AN INSTRUMENT APPROACH BELOW MINIMUMS. IF the weather is reported below approach minimums, you may not even attempt the approach.
Our metroliners did not have autopilots whatsoever. Nothing. That's the way it was...now I'm not saying you couldn't put one in as (an option)...but the idea that this plane was Cat II is very, very unlikely.
Oddly enough, the short body version of the swerengin, crashed at the place I learned to fly...foggy night, no instrument approach. It seemed that during the go around it sucked a bird, or somehow lost an engine...and the plane rolled up side down, crashing and killing all aboard...
AS many of you know, if an engine fails during an instrument go around, you are suddely quite busy, and if you get too slow, upside down you go. (imagine full discussion of Vmca).
I would also like to point out something. Some operators of this type choose to make the approach with about half flaps, selecting full flaps upon visual with runway. Selecting full flaps can cause a slight roll..
I never cared for the metroliner. Noisy, cramped, POS of the highest order.
The rule of thumb here is one approach, two approach, go somewhere else...
Wondering if anti ice/ignition was selected for engines/props etc....I didn't look at the temps on the wx