Easyjet A320 at Liverpool on Jun 24th 2018, flaps instead gear up
Last Update: January 10, 2019 / 15:25:21 GMT/Zulu time
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.
This article is published under license from Avherald.com. © of text by Avherald.com.
Read unlimited articles and receive our daily update briefing. Gain better insights into what is happening in commercial aviation safety.
Support AeroInside by sending a small tip amount.
An Easyjet Airbus A320-200, registration G-EZOZ performing flight U2-7612 from Madrid,SP (Spain) to Lisbon (Portugal) with 174 passengers and 6 crew,…
An Easyjet Airbus A321-200N, registration G-UZMF performing flight U2-6195 from Bristol,EN (UK) to Gran Canaria,CI (Spain) with 190 passengers and 7…
An Easyjet Airbus A320-200, registration G-EZOP performing flight U2-1877 from Manchester,EN (UK) to Bilbao,SP (Spain), was climbing out of…
An Easyjet Airbus A319-100, registration G-EZDR performing flight U2-8941 from London Gatwick,EN (UK) to Tirana (Albania), was climbing out of…
An Easyjet Airbus A320-200N, registration G-UZHF performing flight U2-6844 from Faro (Portugal) to Glasgow,SC (UK) with about 190 people on board,…
An Easyjet Airbus A320-200, registration G-EZTK performing flight U2-6938 from Heraklion (Greece) to Edinburgh,SC (UK), was nearing Edinburgh when…
A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-8 MAX, registration N8709Q performing flight WN-1221 from Raleigh/Durham,NC to Chicago Midway,IL (USA) with 149…
A Condor Airbus A320-200, registration D-AICA performing flight DE-1523 from Las Palmas,CI (Spain) to Munich (Germany) with 176 people on board, was…
Are you researching aviation incidents? Get access to AeroInside Insights, unlimited read access and receive the daily newsletter.Pick your plan and subscribe
A new way to document and demonstrate airworthiness compliance and aircraft value. Find out more.
ELITE Simulation Solutions is a leading global provider of Flight Simulation Training Devices, IFR training software as well as flight controls and related services. Find out more.
Never miss an article from AeroInside. Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter and join 5462 existing subscribers.
Popular aircraftAirbus A320
Boeing 737-800 MAX
Popular airlinesAmerican Airlines