Easyjet A320 at Liverpool on Jun 24th 2018, flaps instead gear up

Last Update: January 10, 2019 / 15:25:21 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Jun 24, 2018

Classification
Incident

Airline
Easyjet

Flight number
U2-7043

Aircraft Registration
G-EZOZ

Aircraft Type
Airbus A320

ICAO Type Designator
A320

An Easyjet Airbus A320-200, registration G-EZOZ performing flight U2-7043 from Liverpool,EN (UK) to Paris Charles de Gaulle (France), was climbing out of Liverpool's runway 27 when the crew inadvertently selected the flaps up instead of selecting the gear up. The crew recovered, continued the climb and reached Paris without further incident.

The AAIB rated the occurrence a serious incident and opened an investigation.

On Jan 10th 2019 the AAIB released their bulletin without conclusions but following (entire) analysis:

After takeoff, the commander inadvertently selected the flaps up instead of the landing gear. The error was quickly recognised, the flap lever was returned to the flap 1 position and the flight crew focused on achieving a safe flight path in accordance with the operator’s upset recovery training.

It was not possible to identify a definitive reason why the inadvertent selection occurred.

Following the incident, the commander stated that in future she will employ a longer pause to double check the correct lever selection and allow time for the pilot flying to intervene should they see the wrong lever has been selected.

The operator reviewed the action taken following previous events which highlighted that the training provided to manage the aircraft in a low energy state at low altitude had been effective in this incident.

The AAIB reported:

Weather conditions were CAVOK and the co-pilot was the pilot flying. Takeoff was planned from Runway 27 with Configuration 1+F1 and an aircraft gross weight of 62.6 tonnes. The takeoff roll was normal. The commander reported that after lift-off the co-pilot called for “gear up”; the commander replied “gear” but inadvertently placed her hand on the flap lever instead of the landing gear lever and selected flap 0. She realised the error and moved the flap lever back to the flap 1 position, whereby the slats remained extended but the flaps continued to retract.

The co-pilot recalled hearing the commander call “gear” and looking at the gear lever but not seeing the commander’s hand on the lever. However, by this time the flap lever had already been moved and returned. Both pilots reported that, realising what had happened, they focused on flying the aircraft. They reduced the pitch attitude to accelerate and, maintaining a positive rate of climb, retracted the landing gear. They considered using TOGA thrust but decided this was not necessary. Throughout the incident the airspeed remained above VLS. Once the aircraft was stabilised, the autopilot was engaged and the slats were retracted. The flight continued without further incident.

After the incident neither pilot could identify any reason why the slip had occurred. They were not aware of any distraction and did not report feeling fatigued.

The AAIB described the QAR data provided by the operator:

The data showed that on takeoff, passing 181 ft radar altitude (radalt) and at 162 kt, the flap and slat angle started to reduce. The slat angle reduced slightly from 18° to 17.2° but then returned to 18°. The flap angle continued to retract to 0°. No movement of the flap lever was recorded. However, flap lever position is only recorded every two seconds, so it is likely that the lever was moved and returned in less than this time.

Passing 330 ft radalt the landing gear was selected UP.

Climbing through 600 ft radalt, pitch angle was reduced to 10° and the airspeed started to increase. Passing 800 ft radalt, speed had increased to 185 kt and the pitch angle was increased to 15°.

Passing 1,350ft radalt the thrust levers were retarded to climb power and the pitch attitude reduced to 10°. Flap 0 was selected passing 1,650 ft as speed increased through 200 kt.

By 2,000 ft radalt the slats had fully retracted.
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Jun 24, 2018

Classification
Incident

Airline
Easyjet

Flight number
U2-7043

Aircraft Registration
G-EZOZ

Aircraft Type
Airbus A320

ICAO Type Designator
A320

This article is published under license from Avherald.com. © of text by Avherald.com.
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