Easyjet A320 at Amsterdam on Feb 16th 2016, flaps retracted instead of gear

Last Update: August 11, 2016 / 15:48:40 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Feb 16, 2016

Classification
Report

Airline
Easyjet

Flight number
U2-4562

Aircraft Registration
G-EZTZ

Aircraft Type
Airbus A320

ICAO Type Designator
A320

An Easyjet Airbus A320-200, registration G-EZTZ performing flight U2-4562 from Amsterdam (Netherlands) to Berlin Schoenefeld (Germany) with 167 passengers and 6 crew, was departing Amsterdam's runway 36C with the first officer being pilot flying and the captain (45, ATPL, 13,800 hours total, 11,100 hours on type) being pilot monitoring. After becoming airborne the first officer instructed to select the gear up, the captain however moved the flaps lever from position 1 to position 0. The captain realized his error immediately, returned the flaps lever to position 1 and advised the first officer what he had done. The first officer reduced the pitch angle to reduce but maintain a rate of climb, the airspeed remained above the minimum selectable airspeed, and the flight continued to destination without further incident.

The AAIB released their bulletin concluding:

The operator classified the mis-selection of flap rather than landing gear as an ‘action slip’. The PM intended to carry out the correct action but, during the execution phase, did something different. The report stated:

‘Tasks which are highly practiced, routine and largely physical actions are more vulnerable to action slips than more cognitively demanding tasks. These well‑practiced tasks are linked with automatic processing where [we can do the task] ‘without thinking’. Our ability … to automate our processing [allows] us to develop expertise and create the cognitive capacity to process more complex tasks. However, it can also leave us vulnerable to making errors in relatively simple tasks’.

The operator noted that this was not an isolated event, which confirmed that flight crew, in general, are vulnerable to this type of slip.

The AAIB described the flaps logic: "The departure was flown with flaps and slats set to Config 1 + F (18° of slats and 10° of flaps). After takeoff, when the flap lever was moved to position 0, the flaps began to retract but the slats remained in position 1 initially. The slats would have retracted subsequently but, because the PM immediately moved the flap lever back to position 1, they remained extended. In flight, moving the flap lever from position 0 to 1 extends the slats but does not normally extend the flaps ie Config 1 is commanded rather than Config 1 + F. In this case, although the PM moved the flap lever back to position 1, the flaps continued to retract."
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Feb 16, 2016

Classification
Report

Airline
Easyjet

Flight number
U2-4562

Aircraft Registration
G-EZTZ

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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