Event Details

Title:Uncommanded yaw on climb, Airbus A300B4- 605R, N14065
Micro summary:This Airbus A300 experienced what appeared to be an uncommanded yaw on climb.
Event Time:2000-06-27 at 1547 UTC
File Name:2000-06-27-UK.pdf
Publishing Agency:Aircraft Accident Investigation Board (AAIB)
Publishing Country:United Kingdom
Report number:EW/C2000/6/10
Diversion Airport:London Heathrow Airport, London, England
Site of event:10 nm North East of Filton, Cloucestershire, UK
Departure:London Heathrow Airport, London, England, United Kingdom
Destination:John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York, USA
Airplane Type(s):Airbus A300B4-605R
Flight Phase:Climb
Operator(s):American Airlines
Type of flight:Revenue
Serious Injuries:0
Other Injuries:0
Diverted to:London Heathrow Airport, London, England
Executive Summary:The aircraft was planned to operate a scheduled flight from London (Heathrow) to New York (J F Kennedy). The aircraft mass at take off was 377,738 lb with the centre of gravity (CG) calculated to be at 32?5% of mean aerodynamic chord; this represents an aircraft operating close to its maximum mass at an aft CG. The serviceable aircraft had a flight deck complement of three pilots, of whom the first officer (FO) was the handling pilot. The aircraft took off at 1534 hrs from Runway 09R and was cleared to follow the Compton Five Juliet standard instrument departure prior to routing to the west.

During the departure and climb the FO flew the aircraft manually. As the aircraft was approaching FL220, at a reported airspeed of 325 KIAS, the aircraft experienced an abrupt disturbance which was perceived by the flight crew to be a disturbance in yaw with no attendant lateral motion evident in the resulting manoeuvre. They believed that the yawing motion had been caused by an uncommanded rudder input. The disturbance was accompanied by a loud bang which was noted by both the flight crew and some of the cabin attendants. They all reported the noise as being coincident with the disturbance. At the time of the event the aircraft was configured as follows: flaps and slats 'IN', landing gear 'UP', auto pilot 'OFF', pitch trim (systems 1 and 2) 'ON' and yaw damper (systems 1 and 2) 'ON'. The aircraft was clear of cloud and there were no other aircraft reported in the vicinity.

Following the disturbance the aircraft appeared to behave normally. However, the commander decided to return to London (Heathrow) rather than commence a transatlantic flight following a suspected an uncommanded flight control input. An uneventful, overweight landing on Runway 09L was completed at 1624 hrs.
Learning Keywords:Operations - Bang, pop, crack, sizzle!
Operations - Upset - Uncommanded or excessive Yaw
Systems - Flight Control System


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