Event Details

Title:Loss of airspeed displays, Serious incident, 05.04.1998, near Frankfurt/Main Airport, to an Airbus A320-200
Micro summary:This Airbus A320-200 lost its airspeed cues in both primary flight displays, standby instrumentation, and a variety of other systems.
Event Time:1998-04-05 at Unknown
File Name:1998-04-05-DE.pdf
Publishing Agency:Federal Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Investigation (BFU)
Publishing Country:Germany
Report number:5X002-0/98
Site of event:Holding pattern, Frankfurt
Departure:Saint-Exupery International Airpot, Lyon, France
Destination:Frankfurt/Main, Germany
Airplane Type(s):Airbus A320-200
Flight Phase:Descent
Type of flight:Revenue
Serious Injuries:0
Other Injuries:0
Executive Summary:On a scheduled flight from Lyon to Frankfurt in a holding pattern the airspeed indications in both primary flight displays (PFD) and for a short time in the standby indication system failed. In conjunction with this failure, the automatic flight control systems switched off and the electronic centralized aircraft monitor showed several warning and error messages. The pilot-in-command immediately took over the controls from the candidate captain who up to the moment of the occurrence was the pilot flying. When he had stabilized the aeroplane manually at an altitude of 10000 ft on the basis of pitch angle and powerplant output (PITCH and POWER), the airspeed indications reappeared on all three instruments. As a precaution, the PIC manually switched the pitot tube heating on (PROBE/WINDOW HEAT on the overhead panel from AUTO to ON). At the moment of the incident, IMC with severe icing, rain showers and turbulence were prevailing. For the landing, the autopilot and autothrottle were available

The investigation has revealed that all airspeed indication systems had failed for a short time due to an occlusion of the pressure ports as a result of ice formation on the pitot tubes. The result of the investigation confirms the assumption based on past reports by several operators on varying/failed irspeed indications that the design of the pitot tubes does not allow unrestricted flight operations with the aeroplane type in heavy rain and under severe icing conditions.Since the AOM and other documents for the aeroplane type A 320 do not define restrictions for flights under severe icing conditions, the incident is finally due to a type design problem.
Learning Keywords:Operations - Icing
Operations - Training Flight
Systems - Flight Instruments
Systems - Pitot/Static System
Close match:Stall on takeoff, Birgenair, Boeing 757, TC-GEN
Incorrect airspeed indications, UPS 747-200 at Dublin Airport, May 12, 2000
In-flight loss of both engines, McDonnell Douglas MD-82, June 4, 2002
Runway Overrun Following Rejected Takeoff, Continental Airlines Flight 795, McDonnell Douglas MD-82, N18835, Laguardia Airport, Flushing, New York, March 2, 1994
Stall on takeoff, Air Florida, Inc., Boeing 737-222, N62AF, Collision With 14th Street Bridge, Near Washington National Airport, Washington, D.C., January 13, 1982
In-flight upset, Northwest Airlines, Inc., Boeing 727-251, N274US, Near Thiells, New York, December 1, 1974
Erroneous airspeed indications/stickshaker, Boeing 717-200, VH-NHX, February 28, 2006
Stall in climb, Boeing 757-200, TF-FII, October 20, 2002


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