France B773 at Paris on Apr 5th 2022, airplane did not respond to commands

Last Update: April 27, 2022 / 17:03:05 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Apr 5, 2022

Classification
Incident

Airline
Air France

Flight number
AF-11

Aircraft Registration
F-GSQJ

Aircraft Type
Boeing 777-300

ICAO Type Designator
B773

Airport ICAO Code
LFPG

An Air France Boeing 777-300, registration F-GSQJ performing flight AF-11 from New York JFK,NY (USA) to Paris Charles de Gaulle (France), was on final approach to Paris' runway 26L established on localizer and cleared to land descending through about 1500 feet when the crew was heard on tower frequency audibly in distress, alarm sounds in the background, one of the pilots calling "Stop! Stop!", "Stop it!", tower instructed the crew to stop the approach at 1500 feet. When the aircraft descended through 1200 feet significantly having veered to the left off the localizer the autopilot disconnect wailer can finally be heard on the radio transmission, the crew manages to go around from about 1150 feet. While climbing out and levelling off at 4000 feet the crew reported they had problems with the aircraft not following commands, the aircraft did not follow the commands. The crew requested runway 27R under radar vectoring, positioned for an approach to 27R and landed without further incident.

The aircraft is still on the ground in Paris about 10.5 hours after landing.

According to ADS-B data transmitted by the aircraft was at 1725 feet MSL about 4.17nm before the runway threshold (glideslope at 1768 feet MSL). The aircraft subsequently began to deviate to the left.

On Apr 6th 2022 the French BEA reported they rated the occurrence a serious incident and opened an investigation. The aircraft suffered a "flight control instability", control stiffness and trajectory oscillations. CVR and FDR data have been downloaded on Apr 5th 2022 and are being analysed.

On Apr 15th 2022 the French BEA reported the aircraft was on an ILS approach to runway 26L in manual control when the crew perceived de-stabilization of the aircraft and initiated a go around however had difficulties maintaining the flight path during the go around. Both pilots acted simultaneously on the flight controls. Once the situation had stabilized the aircraft returned for a safe ILS landing on runway 27R. The occurrence category is still undetermined.

On Apr 27th 2022 the BEA released a press release describing the investigation update stating, the first officer was pilot flying, the captain pilot monitoring. The crew performed an ILS approach to runway 26L. The BEA wrote:

On final, the aeroplane was established on the localizer and glideslope ILS beams. At 07:49, the crew were cleared to land. They configured the aeroplane for landing, the selected speed was 140 kt. The crew then carried out the “Landing” checklist. At 07:50:20, when the aeroplane was at an altitude of 1,670 ft, the PF continued the approach in manual flight: he disconnected the autopilot (AP), leaving the auto throttle (AT) and the flight directors (FD) activated. He then made inputs on the controls for around 15 seconds. The aeroplane followed the movement of the controls and stayed on the ILS path, the left and right roll being less than 2°. In the subsequent ten seconds, there were less inputs on the wheel. The co-pilot than made inputs on the control column and wheel with a greater frequency, the amplitude was still small, the aeroplane followed the commands, the left and right roll being less than 3°. At 07:51:06, the co-pilot expressed his astonishment with respect to the aeroplane’s bank angle. The roll inputs were amplified and the average position of the wheel was at around 6° to the left. The aeroplane turned left with a small bank angle. The captain voiced his surprise with respect to the deviation from the flight path.

At 07:51:12, when the aeroplane was at an altitude of 1,115 ft, banked 7° to the left, with the wheel oriented 16° to the left, the crew carried out a go-around. Up until the go-around, the flight path had remained within the operator’s stabilization criteria. The recorded parameters show that the two pilots then simultaneously made inputs on the controls.

In the following second, the position of the wheel reached a maximum value of 27° to the left. One second later, the roll reached a maximum value of 15° to the left and the nose-up attitude was 12°.

At 07:51:16, the captain commented that the plane was going left. The control columns were then desynchronized8 for 14 seconds due to opposing forces. The captain held the control column in a slightly nose-down position while the co-pilot made several, more pronounced, nose-up inputs. Two brief episodes of wheel desynchronization were also observed.

At 07:51:20, the go-around switches were pushed again increasing the thrust to the maximum thrust available.

At 07:51:23, the pitch reached a maximum value of 24°.

At 07:51:25, the co-pilot called out “Positive climb” and retracted the landing gear. The configuration warning was displayed and the associated aural warning (siren) sounded. The two pilots continued to simultaneously make inputs on the controls. The captain made more pronounced nose down inputs for a few seconds.

At 07:52:06, the captain was the sole person making inputs. The crew completed the go-around actions.

The crew analysed the situation without perceiving the antagonistic inputs made on the controls and the desynchronizations of the control channels. They considered that they could use the AP again and carry out a new approach.

The co-pilot became the PF again. The captain informed the controller that there had been a problem on the flight controls and asked to join the final for runway 27R. The approach and landing took place without further incident.

The sustained input on the controls led to the PTT button and the AP disconnect switch being involuntarily pressed, the latter action causing several activations of the associated warning.

No failure warning was activated during the occurrence10. No anomaly was observed on the aeroplane.

At this stage, the analysis of the parameters does not show inconsistencies, in particular between the movements of the controls and the movements of the aeroplane. The validation and the analysis of the parameters are continuing. Particular attention will be given to reproducing the forces applied to the controls and to the relationship between these forces and the movements of the controls.

Metars:
LFPG 050900Z 23010KT 2500 -DZ BR BKN003 09/09 Q1013 BECMG 6000 BKN005=
LFPG 050830Z 23010KT 2300 -DZ BR FEW002 BKN003 09/09 Q1013 TEMPO BKN002=
LFPG 050800Z 24008KT 3000 BR BKN003 09/08 Q1013 TEMPO BKN002=
LFPG 050730Z 23009KT 3000 -RA BR BKN003 09/08 Q1013 TEMPO BKN002=
LFPG 050700Z 23008KT 3000 -RA BR BKN003 08/08 Q1013 TEMPO BKN002=
LFPG 050630Z 23009KT 2500 -DZRA BR BKN003 08/08 Q1013 TEMPO BKN002=
LFPG 050600Z 23009KT 2500 BR BKN003 08/08 Q1013 TEMPO BKN002=
LFPG 050530Z 23010KT 2700 -DZ BKN003 08/07 Q1013 TEMPO BKN002=
LFPG 050500Z 24010KT 4000 -DZ BKN003 08/07 Q1013 NOSIG=
COR LFPG 050430Z 24009KT 4000 -DZ BR BKN004 08/07 Q1013 TEMPO FM0600 2000 BKN002=
COR LFPG 050400Z 23010KT 4000 -DZ BKN004 08/07 Q1013 TEMPO 2000 DZ=
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Apr 5, 2022

Classification
Incident

Airline
Air France

Flight number
AF-11

Aircraft Registration
F-GSQJ

Aircraft Type
Boeing 777-300

ICAO Type Designator
B773

Airport ICAO Code
LFPG

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