Easyjet A319 at Malaga on Apr 14th 2016, software glitch results in performance data for opposite runway

Last Update: January 13, 2017 / 20:05:25 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Apr 14, 2016

Classification
Report

Airline
Easyjet

Flight number
U2-7180

Departure
Malaga, Spain

Aircraft Registration
G-EZFJ

Aircraft Type
Airbus A319

ICAO Type Designator
A319

An Easyjet Airbus A319-100, registration G-EZFJ performing flight U2-7180 from Malaga,SP (Spain) to Liverpool,EN (UK) with 157 passengers and 6 crew, was preparing for departure with a training captain (57, ATPL, 21,000 hours total, 4000 hours on type) and a first officer under training. Runway 31 was in use, the captain was pilot flying for the sector. The first officer asked whether he could use the "Multiple Runway Computation" (MRC) available on the electronic flight bag computers (EFB) just in case the departure runway would be changed to 13. The captain who normally did not use that feature thought it would be benefitial for the first officer although not part of the trianing syllabus and agreed. After the first officer had completed the computation the captain cross checked the critical data checking that runway 31 was displayed in the according menus, checked the aircraft configuration and runway length. The speed data were then entered into the FMGS, the captain realised they were lower than he was used to however accepted the data assuming the operator had changed some of the performance data for operational reasons. In cruise the captain, in view of his pre-takeoff observations, the captain decided to recheck the first officer's EFB and disocvered runway 13 was selected in a small drop down menu in a different place where the runway would normally be verified. The captain took photos of the EFB. The flight continued to Liverpool for a safe landing.

The UK AAIB released their bulletin concluding:

The flight crew took off from Runway 31 using the takeoff performance data for Runway 13 at Malaga Airport. This incorrect data was provided by the EFB which contained an anomaly that allowed detailed runway information for one runway to be displayed alongside takeoff performance data for another runway. The flight crew, operator and manufacturer were unaware of the anomaly at the time of the event.

The operator has disabled the MRC function and other affected operators have since been informed of this anomaly with a recommendation to disable the MRC function. The L6.x versions of the software do not exhibit this MRC function anomaly.

The AAIB summarized the captain's testimony: "He believes this was not noticed due to the subtle icon selection, the small text size and because the runway selection was normally verified in a different location on the screen. To help him to explain this upon his return he took photographs of the EFB screen."

The AAIB continued: "The sequence of events detailed by the flight crew suggested that the FlySmart software could display detailed information for one runway but with takeoff performance data for a different runway. ... A specific sequence of events discovered by the operator confirmed this was possible which was also reproduced by the AAIB and demonstrated to the manufacturer."

The AAIB analysed: "As most of the takeoff performance calculations were usually performed using the single runway option, the crew were familiar with verifying the selected runway only in one place; at the top right of the screen. Therefore, with a particular runway selected at this upper position on the screen, it is possible to make the assumption that the corresponding takeoff performance figures on the ‘RESULTS’ page are related to that runway. However, in MRC the takeoff performance figures can in fact relate to another runway selected in the lower section of the display. In this case, owing to this configuration on the screen, the flight crew cross-checking, using a single computation on one EFB in accordance with the operator’s SOPs, did not identify that incorrect performance data was being used prior to takeoff."
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Apr 14, 2016

Classification
Report

Airline
Easyjet

Flight number
U2-7180

Departure
Malaga, Spain

Aircraft Registration
G-EZFJ

Aircraft Type
Airbus A319

ICAO Type Designator
A319

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