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AIRBUS A-320

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A320
Aircraft
Name A-320
Manufacturer AIRBUS
Body Narrow
Wing Fixed Wing
Position Low wing
Tail Regular tail, mid set
WTC Medium
APC C
Type code L2J
Aerodrome Reference Code 4C
RFF Category 6
Engine Jet
Engine count Multi
Position Underwing mounted
Landing gear Tricycle retractable
Mass group 4


Manufacturered as:

AIRBUS A-320
AIRBUS A-320 Prestige
AIRBUS Prestige (A-320)


AIRBUS A-320

AIRBUS A-320 AIRBUS A-320 3D

Description

Short to medium range single aisle airliner. In service since 1988. First airliner with a fly-by-wire-system with side stick controlling and an Electronic Flight Instrument System-cockpit. Total of 2532 aircraft ordered, 1563 delivered, 1542 in operation. There are total of 3469 aircraft from A320 family in operation (including 318/319/320/321 - May 2008). The A320 is a member of the A320 family of aircraft. A new "neo" (new engine option) series of the A320 family was developed since 2010 with first aircraft being delivered in 2016. The "neo" aircraft feature new engines (PW 1100G or CFM LEAP-1A) and a new type of wingtips, called "sharklets". The existing aircraft are referred to as "ceo" by Airbus, meaning "current engine option".

Note: While a "ceo" aircraft may or may not be equipped with sharklets, all "neo" aircraft are equipped with sharklets. The sharklet version features a 1.7m wider wingspan.

Technical Data

Wing span 35.8 m117.454 ft
Length 37.57 m123.261 ft
Height 11.76 m38.583 ft
Powerplant 2 x CFM56-5A1 (111kN) or
2 x CFM56-5A3 (118kN) or
2 x IAE V2500 (125kN) turbofans.
Engine model CFM International CFM56, International Aero Engines V2500

Performance Data

Take-Off Initial Climb
(to 5000 ft)
Initial Climb
(to FL150)
Initial Climb
(to FL240)
MACH Climb Cruise Initial Descent
(to FL240)
Descent
(to FL100)
Descent (FL100
& below)
Approach
V2 (IAS) 145 kts IAS 175 kts IAS 290 kts IAS 290 kts MACH 0.78 TAS 450 kts MACH 0.78 IAS 290 kts IAS kts Vapp (IAS) 137 kts
Distance 2190 m ROC 2500 ft/min ROC 2000 ft/min ROC 1400 ft/min ROC 1000 ft/min MACH 0.79 ROD 1000 ft/min ROD 3500 ft/min MCS 210 kts Distance 1440 m
MTOW 7350073,500 kg
73.5 tonnes
kg
Ceiling FL410 ROD ft/min APC C
WTC M Range 27002,700 nm
5,000,400 m
5,000.4 km
16,405,511.823 ft
NM

Accidents & Serious Incidents involving A320

  • A319 / A320, Naha Okinawa Japan, 2012 (On 5 July 2012, an Airbus A319 entered its departure runway at Naha without clearance ahead of an A320 already cleared to land on the same runway. The A320 was sent around. The Investigation concluded that the A319 crew - three pilots including one with sole responsibility for radio communications and a commander supervising a trainee Captain occupying the left seat - had misunderstood their clearance and their incorrect readback had not been detected by the TWR controller. It was concluded that the controller's non-use of a headset had contributed to failure to detect the incorrect readback.)
  • A320 / A139 vicinity Zurich Switzerland, 2012 (On 29 May 2012, a British Airways Airbus A320 departing Zürich and in accordance with its SID in a climbing turn received and promptly and correctly actioned a TCAS RA 'CLIMB'. The conflict which caused this was with an AW 139 also departing Zürich IFR in accordance with a SID but, as this aircraft was only equipped with a TAS to TCAS 1 standard, the crew independently determined from their TA that they should descend and did so. The conflict, in Class 'C' airspace, was attributed to inappropriate clearance issue by the TWR controller and their inappropriate separation monitoring thereafter.)
  • A320 / A320, Zurich Switzerland, 2011 (On 15 March 2011 two Swiss International Airlines’ Airbus A320 aircraft were cleared for simultaneous take off on intersecting runways at Zurich by the same controller. As both approached the intersection at high speed, the Captain of one saw the other and immediately rejected take off from 130 knots, stopping just at the edge of the intersection shortly after the other aircraft had flown low overhead unaware of the conflict. The Investigation noted a long history of similar incidents at Zurich and concluded that systemic failure of risk management had not been addressed by the air traffic control agency involved.)
  • A320 / A321, vicinity Barcelona Spain, 2016 (On 25 July 2016, an Airbus A320 and an Airbus A321 both departing Barcelona and following their ATC instructions came into conflict and the collision risk was removed by the TCAS RA CLIMB response of the A320. Minimum separation was 1.2 nm laterally and 200 feet vertically with visual acquisition of the other traffic by both aircraft. The Investigation found that the controller involved had become preoccupied with an inbound traffic de-confliction task elsewhere in their sector and, after overlooking the likely effect of the different rates of climb of the aircraft, had not regarded monitoring their separation as necessary.)
  • A320 / A346, en-route, Eastern Indian Ocean, 2012 (On 18 January 2012, ATC error resulted in two aircraft on procedural clearances in oceanic airspace crossing the same waypoint within an estimated 2 minutes of each other without the prescribed 1000 feet vertical separation when the prescribed minimum separation was 15 minutes unless that vertical separation existed. By the time ATC identified the loss of separation and sent a CPDLC message to the A340 to descend in order to restore separation, the crew advised that such action was already being taken. The Investigation identified various organisational deficiencies relating to the provision of procedural service by the ANSP concerned.)
  • A320 / AT76, Yangon Myanmar, 2017 (On 18 September 2017, a departing Airbus A320 was instructed to line up and wait at Yangon but not given takeoff clearance until an ATR72 was less than a minute from touchdown and the prevailing runway traffic separation standard was consequently breached. The Investigation found that the TWR controller had been a temporarily unsupervised trainee who, despite good daylight visibility, had instructed the A320 to line up and wait and then forgotten about it. When the A320 crew, aware of the approaching ATR72, reminded her, she “did not know what to do” and the trainee APP controller had to intervene.)
  • A320 / B738 Barcelona Spain, 2012 (On 27 May 2012, an Airbus A320 departing Barcelona was cleared by GND to taxi across an active runway on which a Boeing 737-800 was about to land. Whilst still moving but before entering the runway, the A320 crew, aware of the aircraft on approach, queried their crossing clearance but the instruction to stop was given too late to stop before crossing the unlit stop bar. The 737 was instructed to go around and there was no actual risk of collision. The Investigation attributed the controller error to lack of familiarisation with the routine runway configuration change in progress.)
  • A320 / B738, en-route, near Córdoba Spain, 2014 (On 30 October 2014, a descending Airbus A320 came close to a Boeing 737-800 at around FL 220 after the A320 crew significantly exceeded a previously-instructed 2,000 fpm maximum rate of descent assuming it no longer applied when not reiterated during re-clearance to a lower altitude. Their response to a TCAS RA requiring descent at not above 1,000 fpm was to further increase it from 3,200 fpm. Lack of notification delayed the start of an independent Investigation but it eventually found that although the A320 TCAS equipment had been serviceable, its crew denied failing to correctly follow their initial RA.)
  • A320 / B738, vicinity Dubai UAE, 2012 (On 22 April 2012, an Airbus A320 and a Boeing 737 came into close proximity near Dubai whilst on the same ATC frequency and correctly following their ATC clearances shortly after they had departed at night from Sharjah and Dubai respectively. The Investigation found that correct response by both aircraft to coordinated TCAS RAs eliminated any risk of collision. The fact that the controller involved had only just taken over the radar position involved and was only working the two aircraft in conflict was noted, as was the absence of STCA at the unit due to set up difficulties.)
  • A320 / B738, vicinity Launceston Australia, 2008 (On 1 May 2008 an Airbus A320-200 being operated by JetStar on a scheduled passenger flight from Melbourne to Launceston, Tasmania was making a missed approach from runway 32L when it came into close proximity in night VMC with a Boeing 737-800 being operated by Virgin Blue and also inbound to Launceston from Melbourne which was manoeuvring about 5nm north west of the airport after carrying out a similar missed approach. Minimum separation was 3 nm at the same altitude and the situation was fully resolved by the A320 climbing to 4000 feet.)
  • A320 / B739, Yogyakarta Indonesia, 2013 (On 20 November 2013, an A320 misunderstood its taxi out clearance at Yogyakarta and began to enter the same runway on which a Boeing 737, which had a valid landing clearance but was not on TWR frequency, was about to touch down from an approach in the other direction of use. On seeing the A320, which had stopped with the nose of the aircraft protruding onto the runway, the 737 applied maximum manual braking and stopped just before reaching the A320. The Investigation faulted ATC and airport procedures as well as the A320 crew for contributing to the risk created.)
  • A320 / B789 / A343, San Francisco CA USA, 2017 (On 7 July 2017 the crew of an Airbus A320, cleared for an approach and landing on runway 28R at San Francisco in night VMC, lined up for the visual approach for which it had been cleared on the occupied parallel taxiway instead of the runway extended centreline and only commenced a go-around at the very last minute, having descended to about 60 feet agl whilst flying over two of the four aircraft on the taxiway. The Investigation determined that the sole direct cause of the event was the poor performance of the A320 flight crew.)
  • A320 / C56X, vicinity Geneva Switzerland, 2011 (On 17 August 2012, a Swiss A320 being positioned under radar vectors for arrival at Geneva was inadvertently vectored into conflict with a Cessna Citation already established on the ILS LOC for runway 23 at Geneva. Controller training was in progress and the Instructor had just taken control because of concerns at the actions of the Trainee. An error by the Instructor was recognised and de-confliction instructions were given but a co-ordinated TCAS RA still subsequently occurred. STCA was activated but constraints on access to both visual and aural modes of the system served to diminish its value.)
  • A320 / CRJ2, Port Elizabeth South Africa, 2014 (On 10 July 2014, the crew of a Bombardier CRJ200 on a visual go around from an approach to runway 26 at Port Elizabeth took visual avoiding action overhead of the aerodrome to ensure safe separation from an Airbus A320 which had just taken off. Both aircraft also received TCAS RAs. Minimum achieved separation from radar was 370 metres laterally and 263 feet vertically. The Investigation noted that the go around resulted from the TWR controller, who was supervising a student controller, clearing the A320 to enter the runway and take off when the CRJ200 was on short final to land.)
  • A320 / CRJ2, Sofia Bulgaria, 2007 (On 13 April 2007 in day VMC, an Air France A320 departing Sofia lined up contrary to an ATC Instruction to remain at the holding point and be ready immediate. The controller did not immediately notice and after subsequently giving a landing clearance for the same runway, was obliged to cancel it send the approaching aircraft around. An Investigation attributed the incursion to both the incorrect terminology used by TWR and the failure to challenge the incomplete clearance read back by the A320 crew.)
  • A320 / F50, Adelaide Australia, 2016 (On 17 August 2016, a Fokker F50 crossed an active runway at Adelaide ahead of an A320 which was about to land after both its pilots and the controller involved had made assumptions about the content of radio transmissions they were aware they had not fully heard. The Investigation found that the A320 crew had responded promptly to the potential conflict by initiating a low go around over the other aircraft and noted that stop bars were not installed at Adelaide. In addition, aircraft taxiing across active runways were not required to obtain their crossing clearances on the runway control frequency.)
  • A320 / GLID, vicinity Memmingen Germany, 2015 (On 6 April 2015, the crew of an A320 under radar control in Class E airspace and approaching 4000 feet made a very late sighting of a glider being flown by a student pilot which appeared ahead at a similar altitude. The glider pilot reported having seen a 'cone of light' coming towards him. Both aircraft took avoiding action as practicable and passed within a recorded 450 metres with the A320 passing an estimated 250 feet over the glider. The glider was not fitted with a transponder and was not required to be, and the controller had only secondary radar.)
  • A320 / SW4, Calgary AB Canada, 2016 (On 2 December 2016, the crew of an Airbus A320 passing 100 knots on takeoff at Calgary saw another aircraft crossing an intersection ahead but continued because they considered that, as the other aircraft was already more than half way across, it would be clear before they reached that point. The Investigation found that the GND Controller had cleared the other aircraft to cross after forgetting that the runway was active and under TWR control. It was concluded that the response of the ANSP SMS process to a history of identical controller errors and related reports had been inadequate.)
  • A320, Auckland New Zealand, 2017 (On 27 October 2017, an Airbus A320 returned to Auckland after advice from ATC that the right engine may have been affected by ingestion of FOD during engine start - a clipboard and paper left just inside the right hand engine by an employee of the airline’s ground handling contractor acting as the aircraft loading supervisor. The subsequent inspection found paper throughout the engine and minor damage to an engine fan blade and the fan case attrition liner. The Dispatcher overseeing the departure said she had seen the clipboard inside the engine but assumed it would be retrieved before departure.)
  • A320, Ballykelly Northern Ireland UK, 2006 (On 29 March 2006, an Eirjet Airbus 320 was operating a scheduled passenger flight from Liverpool to Londonderry Airport in Northern Ireland for Ryanair in daylight. At 8nm from LDY, the operating crew reported that they were having problems with the ILS glideslope on approach to Runway 26. They judged that they were too high to carry out a safe landing from the ILS approach and requested permission from ATC to carry out a visual approach. The aircraft, with the commander as PF, then flew a right hand descending orbit followed by a visual circuit from which it landed. Upon landing, the crew were advised by Londonderry ATC, who had had the aircraft in sight when it called Finals and had then cleared it to land that they had, in fact, landed at Ballykelly airfield, a military helicopter base 5nm to the east-north-east of Londonderry.)
  • A320, Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg France, 2014 (On 6 October 2014, an A320 crew requested, accepted and continued with an intersection take off but failed to correct the takeoff performance data previously entered for a full length take off which would have given 65% more TODA. Recognition of the error and application of TOGA enabled completion of the take-off but the Investigation concluded that a rejected take off from high speed would have resulted in an overrun. It also concluded that despite change after a similar event involving the same operator a year earlier, relevant crew procedures were conducive to error.)
  • A320, Bilbao Spain, 2001 (On 7th February 2001, an Iberia A320 was about to make a night touch down at Bilbao in light winds when it experienced unexpected windshear. The attempt to counter the effect of this by initiation of a go around failed because the automatic activation of AOA protection in accordance with design criteria which opposed the crew pitch input. The aircraft then hit the runway so hard that a go around was no longer possible. Severe airframe structural damage and evacuation injuries to some of the occupants followed. A mandatory modification to the software involved was subsequently introduced.)
  • A320, Brunei, 2014 (On 7 July 2014, an Airbus A320 landing at Brunei departed the side of the runway almost immediately after touchdown and continued to gradually diverge from the runway axis until stopping after a ground run of approximately 1,050 metres. The Investigation concluded that the aircraft commander, having taken over control from the First Officer when the latter lost their previously-acquired prescribed visual reference below Decision Altitude due to a sudden-onset intense rain shower ahead, had then continued the approach without recognising that the only lights still visible to him were those at the right hand edge of the runway.)
  • A320, Cochin India, 2011 (On 29 August 2011, an Airbus A320 which had up to that point made a stabilised auto LS approach at destination deviated from the runway centreline below 200 feet aal but continued to a night touchdown which occurred on the edge of the 3400 metre runway and was followed by exit from the side onto soft ground before eventually coming to a stop adjacent to the runway about a third of the way along it. The subsequent investigation attributed the event to poor crew performance in reduced visibility)
  • A320, Dublin Ireland, 2017 (On 27 September 2017, an Airbus A320 being manoeuvred off the departure gate at Dublin by tug was being pulled forward when the tow bar shear pin broke and the tug driver lost control. The tug then collided with the right engine causing significant damage. The tug driver and assisting ground crew were not injured. The Investigation concluded that although the shear pin failure was not attributable to any particular cause, the relative severity of the outcome was probably increased by the wet surface, a forward slope on the ramp and fact that an engine start was in progress.)
  • A320, Halifax NS Canada, 2015 (On 29 March 2015, an Airbus A320 crew mismanaged the descent during a night non-precision approach at Halifax and continued below MDA without the mandatory autopilot disconnection until, with inadequate visual reference, the aircraft impacted terrain and obstructions 225 metres short of the runway. The aircraft was destroyed but there were no fatalities. The Investigation found that the crew did not monitor their descent against the required vertical profile, as there was no SOP requiring them to do so, and did not recognise in time that a go around was appropriate.)
  • A320, Hamburg Germany, 2008 (On 1 March 2008 an Airbus A320 being operated by Lufthansa on a scheduled passenger flight from Munich to Hamburg experienced high and variable wind velocity on short finals in good daylight visibility and during the attempt at landing on runway 23 with a strong crosswind component from the right, a bounced contact of the left main landing gear with the runway was followed by a left wing down attitude which resulted in the left wing tip touching the ground. A rejected landing was then flown and after radar vectoring, a second approach to runway 33 was made to a successful landing. No aircraft occupants were injured but the aircraft left wing tip was found to have been damaged by the runway contact. The track of the aircraft and spot wind velocities given by ATC at key points are shown on the illustration below.)
  • A320, Harstad/Narvik Norway 2004 (On 25 November 2004, a MyTravel Airways Airbus A320 departed the side of the runway at Harstad, Norway at a low speed after loss of directional control when thrust was applied for a night take off on a runway with below normal surface friction characteristics. It was found that the crew had failed to follow an SOP designed to ensure that any accumulated fan ice was shed prior to take off and also failed to apply take off thrust as prescribed, thus delaying their appreciation of the uneven thrust produced.)
  • A320, Hiroshima Japan, 2015 (On 14 April 2015, a night RNAV(GNSS) approach to Hiroshima by an Airbus A320 was continued below minima without the prescribed visual reference and subsequently touched down 325 metres before the runway after failing to transition to a go around initiated from a very low height. The aircraft hit a permitted ground installation, then slid onto the runway before veering off it and stopping. The aircraft sustained extensive damage and an emergency evacuation followed with 28 of the 81 occupants sustaining minor injuries. The Investigation noted the unchallenged gross violation of minima by the Captain.)
  • A320, Jaipur India, 2014 (On 5 January 2014, an Airbus A320 was unable to land at Delhi due to visibility below crew minima and during subsequent diversion to Jaipur, visibility there began to deteriorate rapidly. A Cat I ILS approach was continued below minima without any visual reference because there were no other alternates within the then-prevailing fuel endurance. The landing which followed was made in almost zero visibility and the aircraft sustained substantial damage after touching down to the left of the runway. The Investigation found that the other possible alternate on departure from Delhi had materially better weather but had been ignored.)
  • A320, Khartoum Sudan, 2005 (On 11 March 2005, an Airbus A321-200 operated by British Mediterranean Airways, executed two unstable approaches below applicable minima in a dust storm to land in Khartoum Airport, Sudan. The crew were attempting a third approach when they received information from ATC that visibility was below the minimum required for the approach and they decided to divert to Port Sudan where the A320 landed without further incident.)
  • A320, Lisbon Portugal, 2015 (On 19 May 2015, an Airbus A319 crew attempted to taxi into a nose-in parking position at Lisbon despite the fact that the APIS, although switched on, was clearly malfunctioning whilst not displaying an unequivocal ‘STOP’. The aircraft continued 6 metres past the applicable apron ground marking by which time it had hit the airbridge. The marshaller in attendance to oversee the arrival did not signal the aircraft or manually select the APIS ‘STOP’ instruction. The APIS had failed to detect the dark-liveried aircraft and the non-display of a steady ‘STOP’ indication was independently attributed to a pre-existing system fault.)
  • A320, London Heathrow UK, 2006 (On 26 June 2006, after an uneventful pre-flight pushback of a British Airways Airbus A320-200 at London Heathrow Airport, the aircraft started moving under its own power and, shortly afterwards, collided with the tractor that had just performed the pushback, damaging both the right engine and the tractor.)
  • A320, Los Angeles USA, 2005 (On 21 September 2005, an Airbus A320 operated by Jet Blue Airways made a successful emergency landing at Los Angeles Airport, California, with the nose wheels cocked 90 degrees to the fore-aft position after an earlier fault on gear retraction.)
  • A320, Oslo Norway, 2010 (On 25 February 2010, an Aeroflot Airbus A320-200 unintentionally made a daylight take off from Oslo in good visibility from the taxiway parallel to the runway for which take off clearance had been given. Because of the available distance and the absence of obstructions, the take off was otherwise uneventful. The Investigation identified contributory factors attributable to the airline, the airport and the ANSP.)
  • A320, Paris Orly France, 2013 (On 12 March 2013, a Tunis Air Airbus A320 landed on runway 08 at Paris Orly and, having slowed to just over 40 knots, were expecting, despite the covering of dry snow and some slush pre-notified and found on the runway, to vacate it without difficulty at the mid point. ATC then requested that the aircraft roll to the end of the runway before clearing. However, after a slight increase in speed, the crew were unable to subsequently slow the aircraft as the runway end approached and it overran at a low groundspeed before coming to a stop 4 seconds later.)
  • A320, Phoenix AZ USA, 2002 (On 28 August 2002, an America West Airbus A320 operating under an ADD for an inoperative left engine thrust reverser veered off the side of the runway during the landing roll at Phoenix AZ after the Captain mismanaged the thrust levers and lost directional control as a consequence of applying asymmetric thrust. Substantial damage occurred to the aircraft but most occupants were uninjured.)
  • A320, Porto Portugal, 2013 (On 1 October 2013, an Airbus A320 took off from a runway intersection at Porto which provided 1900 metres TORA using take off thrust that had been calculated for the full runway length of 3480 metres TORA. It became airborne 350 metres prior to the end of the runway but the subsequent Investigation concluded that it would not have been able to safely reject the take-off or continue it, had an engine failed at high speed. The event was attributed to distraction and the inappropriate formulation of the operating airline's procedures for the pre take-off phase of flight.)
  • A320, Singapore, 2015 (On 16 October 2015, the unlatched fan cowl doors of the left engine on an A320 fell from the aircraft during and soon after takeoff. The one which remained on the runway was not recovered for nearly an hour afterwards despite ATC awareness of engine panel loss during takeoff and as the runway remained in use, by the time it was recovered it had been reduced to small pieces. The Investigation attributed the failure to latch the cowls shut to line maintenance and the failure to detect the condition to inadequate inspection by both maintenance personnel and flight crew.)
  • A320, São Paulo Congonhas Brazil, 2007 (On 17 July 2007, the commander of a TAM Airlines Airbus A320 being operated with one thrust reverser locked out was unable to stop the aircraft leaving the landing runway at Congonhas at speed and it hit buildings and was destroyed by the impact and fire which followed killing all on board and others on the ground. The investigation attributed the accident to pilot failure to realise that the thrust lever of the engine with the locked out reverser was above idle, which by design then prevented both the deployment of ground spoilers and the activation of the pre-selected autobrake.)
  • A320, Tehran Mehrabad Iran, 2016 (On 13 August 2016, an Airbus A320 departed the side of the runway at low speed during takeoff from Tehran Mehrabad and became immobilised in soft ground. The Investigation found that the Captain had not ensured that both engines were simultaneously stabilised before completing the setting of takeoff thrust and that his subsequent response to the resulting directional control difficulties had been inappropriate and decision to reject the takeoff too late to prevent the excursion. Poor CRM on the flight deck was identified as including but not limited to the First Officer’s early call to reject the takeoff being ignored.)
  • A320, Toronto Canada, 2000 (On 13 September 2000, an Airbus A320-200 being operated by Canadian airline Skyservice on a domestic passenger charter flight from Toronto to Edmonton was departing in day VMC when, after a “loud bang and shudder” during rotation, evidence of left engine malfunction occurred during initial climb and the flight crew declared an emergency and returned for an immediate overweight landing on the departure runway which necessitated navigation around several pieces of debris, later confirmed as the fan cowlings of the left engine. There were no injuries to the occupants.)
  • A320, Toronto ON Canada, 2017 (On 25 February 2017, an Airbus A320 left the side of the landing runway at Toronto when, for undetermined reasons, the Captain, as Pilot Flying, set up a drift to the right just before touchdown. This was then followed by a lateral runway excursion into wet grass in rain-reduced visibility which continued for 1,650 metres before the aircraft regained the runway and stopped. The Investigation noted that both the absence of runway centreline lighting and the aircraft operator’s policy of not activating the aircraft rain repellent system or applying the alternative hydrophobic windshield coating may have increased the excursion risk.)
  • A320, Varadero Cuba, 2010 (On 31 January 2010, an Airbus A320-200 being operated by the Canadian Airline Skyservice on a passenger flight from Toronto Canada to Varadero Cuba made a procedural night ILS approach to destination in heavy rain and, soon after touchdown on a flooded runway, drifted off the side and travelled parallel to it for a little over 500 metres before subsequently re-entering it at low speed. There were no injuries to the 186 occupants and the aircraft sustained only minor damage.)
  • A320, en route, north of Marseilles France, 2013 (On 12 September 2013, pressurisation control failed in an A320 after a bleed air fault occurred following dispatch with one of the two pneumatic systems deactivated under MEL provisions. The Investigation found that the cause of the in-flight failure was addressed by an optional SB not yet incorporated. Also, relevant crew response SOPs lacking clarity and a delay in provision of a revised MEL procedure meant that use of the single system had not been optimal and after a necessary progressive descent to FL100 was delayed by inadequate ATC response, and ATC failure to respond to a PAN call required it to be upgraded to MAYDAY.)
  • A320, en-route Alpes-de-Haute-Provence France, 2015 (On 24 March 2015, after waiting for the Captain to leave the flight deck and preventing his return, a Germanwings A320 First Officer put his aircraft into a continuous descent from FL380 into terrain killing all 150 occupants. Investigation concluded the motive was suicide, noted a history of mental illness dating from before qualification as a pilot and found that prior to the crash he had been "experiencing mental disorder with psychotic symptoms" which had not been detected through the applicable "process for medical certification of pilots". Conflict between the principles of medical confidentiality and wider public interest was identified.)
  • A320, en-route Karimata Strait Indonesia, 2014 (On 28 December 2014, an A320 crew took unapproved action in response to a repeating system caution shortly after levelling at FL320. The unexpected consequences degraded the flight control system and obliged manual control. Gross mishandling followed which led to a stall, descent at a high rate and sea surface impact with a 20º pitch attitude and a 50º angle of attack four minutes later. The Investigation noted the accident origin as a repetitive minor system fault but demonstrated that the subsequent loss of control followed a combination of explicitly inappropriate pilot action and the absence of appropriate pilot action.)
  • A320, en-route, Denver CO USA, 2009 (On 21 October 2009, an Airbus 320-200 being operated by Northwest Airlines on a scheduled passenger flight from San Diego to Minneapolis-St Paul, with the Captain as PF, overflew its destination at cruise level in VMC at night by more than 100 nm, after the two pilots had become distracted in conversation and lost situational awareness. They failed to maintain radio communications with a series of successive ATC units for well over an hour. After a routine inquiry from the cabin crew as to the expected arrival time, the flight crew realised what had happened and re-established ATC contact after which the flight was completed without further incident.)
  • A320, en-route, Kalmar County Sweden, 2009 (On 2 March 2009, communication difficulties and inadequate operator procedures led to an Airbus A320-200 being de-iced inappropriately prior to departure from Vasteras and fumes entered the air conditioning system via the APU. Although steps were then taken before departure in an attempt to clear the contamination, it returned once airborne. The flight crew decided to don their oxygen masks and complete the flight to Poznan. Similar fumes in the passenger cabin led to only temporary effects which were alleviated by the use of therapeutic oxygen. The Investigation concluded that no health risks arose from exposure to the fumes involved.)
  • A320, en-route, North East Spain 2006 (On 28 May 2006, a Vueling Airbus A320 encountered sudden significant turbulence at FL325 and, during a temporary loss of control, was forced down to FL310 before recovery was achieved. Seven occupants sustained minor injuries and there was some internal damage caused by an unrestrained cabin service cart. The origin of the disturbance was found to have been wake vortices from an Airbus A340-300 which was 10nm ahead and 500 feet above on the same airway but the Investigation found that the crew response had been inappropriate and could have served to exacerbate the effects of the external disturbance.)

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