Event Details

Title:Instrumentation problems on takeoff, Airbus A320-231, G-OOAB, 18 April 1998 at 2200 hrs
Micro summary:Following spurious instrumentation failures and warnings, this Airbus A320 crew aborted its takeoff.
Event Time:1998-04-18 at 2200 UTC
File Name:1998-04-18-UK.pdf
Publishing Agency:Aircraft Accident Investigation Board (AAIB)
Publishing Country:United Kingdom
Report number:EW/ C98/4/4
Diversion Airport:Ben Gurion International Airport (Lod Airport), Lod, Israel
Site of event:Takeoff
Departure:Ben Gurion International Airport (Lod Airport), Lod, Israel
Destination:Gatwick Airport, London, England
Airplane Type(s):Airbus A320-231
Flight Phase:Takeoff
Operator(s):Air 2000
Type of flight:Revenue
Serious Injuries:0
Other Injuries:0
Diverted to:Ben Gurion International Airport (Lod Airport), Lod, Israel
Executive Summary:The aircraft departed Gatwick on the afternoon of 18 April for a return flight to Tel Aviv. The outbound flight was entirely uneventful with no defects or significant abnormalities reported. On completion of the turnround the aircraft was loaded to 75.4 tonnes and the critical speeds for a configuration 1+ F (flap) take off were established as V1 155 kt, VR 163 kt and V2 163 kt. (The auxiliary power unit and both engine compressor air bleeds were OFF for take off).

After waiting at the holding point for some 10 minutes before being cleared to depart, the commander taxied the aircraft into position on the runway and commenced the take off from a standing start in calm wind conditions. The take off proceeded normally until at about 150 kt when the commander's Primary Flying Display (PFD) and Navigation Display (ND) suddenly went blank. Shortly afterwards both the upper and lower Electronic Centralised Aircraft Monitor (ECAM) displays also went blank, but the first officer's PFD and ND displayed normally. The commander and the first officer individually decided to continue the take off and neither called STOP. However, within three seconds the Master Warning lights illuminated and the continuous repetitive chime activated. At that point both pilots called 'STOP' and the commander selected full reverse thrust on both engines, which activated MAX autobrake and deployed the ground spoilers. He looked down at the autobrake selector button and confirmed that the DECEL light was illuminated, indicating that MAX autobrake was being applied. During the deceleration the first officer looked down at the ECAM and thought he saw, for a brief instant, a 'T.O. CONFIG' warning in red.

Meanwhile in the passenger cabin the main lights had been dimmed for the take off. The senior flight attendant had noticed that just before the braking had began, the cabin lights had extinguished and the emergency lights illuminated.

The commander allowed the autobrake system to bring the aircraft to a stop and it came to rest on the runway centreline, some 600 metres from the end of the runway. As the aircraft stopped, both pilots noticed it being overtaken by a pall of smoke, or dust. The commander applied the parking brake and at about that time he became aware that the cathode ray tube (CRT) displays had recovered to normal operation and the chime had ceased. There were no red (eg fire) warnings on the ECAM, but there were a large number of amber warnings including Slat and Flap Computer No 1 and System Data Aquisition Concentrator (SDAC) No 1. Turning his attention to the landing gear wheelbrakes, the commander noted that they were very hot (about 900C) and so, having seen the smoke, he asked ATC to dispatch the Airport Fire Service (AFS) as soon as possible. He then summoned the senior flight attendant to the flight deck and briefed her on the situation, requesting her to standby for a possible evacuation.

The AFS arrived quickly, but there was no discrete frequency on which the commander could talk directly to the fire chief. (ATC were talking to the fire service in Hebrew on a dedicated ground vehicle frequency). All messages between the flight deck and the AFS had to be relayed through the Tower controller, who was also translating between English and Hebrew. ATC were expecting the arrival of a VIP flight and wanted the aircraft to clear the runway as soon as possible. However the commander was concerned that the hot brakes might seize and so, having had the landing gear inspected by the AFS, he decided to taxi slowly off the runway. Once clear of the runway he stopped the aircraft on the taxiway, but as the aircraft stopped the main landing gear tyres began to deflate as the wheel thermal safety plugs melted. The auxiliary power unit (APU) was started and at this time there was a strong smell of burning rubber in the cabin and on the flight deck.

The commander asked for a further inspection of the landing gear by the AFS and he made an announcement to the passengers to reassure them concerning the large number of emergency vehicles which had surrounded the aircraft. At this point the Tower controller told the commander that the No 1 engine was on fire and that he should shut down both engines. This came as a surprise to the commander since both engines were already shut down and he had been assured that there was no fire. The Tower controller then said "no fire no fire". The commander then opened his DV window to check, just as the AFS began to discharge foam at the aircraft. He gesticulated to them to stop discharging since he did not want foam to be discharged onto the hot brakes. The AFS complied with his request and later wheel chocks were provided. The commander stood down the cabin crew from their standby positions at the exit doors and the passengers then left the cabin using steps provided and were returned to the Terminal in coaches. There were no injuries.
Learning Keywords:Systems - Electrical
Systems - Flight Instruments
Systems - Navigation Systems
Close match:Instrument failure, Airbus A319-131, G-EUOB
Electrical sparks, Boeing 757-2YO, G-OOOX
Display failures and smoke, Fokker F28 Mark 100, G-UKFR
Electrical problems on approach, Boeing 717, March 26, 2003
Electrical system problems, Boeing 767-31AER, PH-MCH


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