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AA A321 takes off after smashing ground sign

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AA A321 takes off after smashing ground sign

Old 22nd Apr 2019, 19:08
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Actually, a light crosswind can actually make it worse. Wingtip vortices move slowly outward away from the departure runway. A light crosswind can effectively hold the upwind vortex on the runway. Not saying that's the case here, but it's something to consider when judging your separation needs.
Dont get me wrong, it does seem like a wake encounter... (eye witness says it banked right first, then left) but it was only an ERJ 135, while the ERJ likely rotated much earlier on the rwy that the A321, it was 2 minutes prior. The wake could have settled just at the ground level, and the 321 got it, but ....
the A321 had problems right at rotation.
ground tracks reveal the aircraft was dragging its left wing tip for quite some distance on the ground, the ground tracks even suggest the aircraft came close to ground loop.

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Old 23rd Apr 2019, 03:30
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Originally Posted by b1lanc
Citing AVH,
"According to information The Aviation Herald received on Apr 12th 2019ground tracks reveal the aircraft was dragging its left wing tip for quite some distance on the ground, the ground tracks even suggest the aircraft came close to ground loop.
I have yet to see any other source confirm this.
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Old 23rd Apr 2019, 18:05
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True, but a pretty good sanding down of the wingtip...definite contact
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Old 23rd Apr 2019, 20:17
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Originally Posted by Sailvi767
It appears it was in fact a aircraft malfunction.
Be it what it was... - I'm less concerned about the actual happening than by the handling therafter: Why on earth would you continue your flight to FL 200 and only then realize you have to return? Would they have continued to LAX if they wouldn't have a roll problem?
There might be legitimate reasons why you get a wing touching the surface, but thereafter you do never continue the flight. Period.
This is what frightens me about this AA crew. Haven't they checked their wings after the rotation? Have they thought about keeping the slats out with structural damage?!
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Old 23rd Apr 2019, 21:06
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Here are the edited ATC comms from VASAviation (looks like the wrong tail number in the video):


The AA300 crew seems to minimize the seriousness of the situation and says they don't need any assistance on the ground. They apparently didn't declare an emergency.
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Old 24th Apr 2019, 14:21
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Rumor has it they took off with full aileron trim. Stay tuned.
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Old 24th Apr 2019, 14:44
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Originally Posted by aterpster
Rumor has it they took off with full aileron trim. Stay tuned.

No out of range for takeoff trim warning on the Airbus?
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Old 24th Apr 2019, 15:00
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Love it !!!
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Old 24th Apr 2019, 16:33
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Originally Posted by aterpster
Rumor has it they took off with full aileron trim. Stay tuned.
Interesting as the Airbus doesn’t have one
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Old 24th Apr 2019, 18:56
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Originally Posted by Dani
Be it what it was... - I'm less concerned about the actual happening than by the handling therafter: Why on earth would you continue your flight to FL 200 and only then realize you have to return? Would they have continued to LAX if they wouldn't have a roll problem?
There might be legitimate reasons why you get a wing touching the surface, but thereafter you do never continue the flight. Period.
This is what frightens me about this AA crew. Haven't they checked their wings after the rotation? Have they thought about keeping the slats out with structural damage?!
TEM advises you create time. As the takeoff actually occured and there was nothing along the lines of smoke, fire or life threatening that required an immediate response, the proper actions would to find a safe place, assess and proceed with the plan.
FL200 is out of the immediate craziness of the terminal area, yet likely not all that far from the airport considering they had lots of gas, airport options, communications to complete and possibly reading to do depending on what if any messages were displayed. Very comfortable with this aspect of the crew's reaction.
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Old 24th Apr 2019, 19:38
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Originally Posted by West Coast
FL200 is out of the immediate craziness of the terminal area, yet likely not all that far from the airport considering they had lots of gas, airport options, communications to complete and possibly reading to do depending on what if any messages were displayed. Very comfortable with this aspect of the crew's reaction.
I agree that FL200 is better than crawling along the surface like Ethiopian, but I would rather reduce speed and keep the flaps out. Imagine having a thing big as a house door in your slats and you try to retract them...
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Old 24th Apr 2019, 19:58
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Originally Posted by Dani
I agree that FL200 is better than crawling along the surface like Ethiopian, but I would rather reduce speed and keep the flaps out. Imagine having a thing big as a house door in your slats and you try to retract them...
If as you describe has occured, it would have been obvious visually or through airframe buffeting.
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Old 24th Apr 2019, 20:30
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Originally Posted by Dani
Be it what it was... - I'm less concerned about the actual happening than by the handling therafter: Why on earth would you continue your flight to FL 200 and only then realize you have to return? Would they have continued to LAX if they wouldn't have a roll problem?
There might be legitimate reasons why you get a wing touching the surface, but thereafter you do never continue the flight. Period.
This is what frightens me about this AA crew. Haven't they checked their wings after the rotation? Have they thought about keeping the slats out with structural damage?!
What about if no damage is visible from the flight deck and the cockpit? I remember posting a thread about an EK flight with rudder damage and odd ECAM advisory messages (or whatever Boeing calls it) from Moscow to DXB a couple of years ago. The majority of contributing pilots argued that if no error message is present it would be perfectly safe to continue the flight. The EK crew made that decision and discovered huge piece of their rudder missing when they landed in DXB.

But after years of reading pprune I realize that most pilots are inferior to certain European ones.
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Old 24th Apr 2019, 20:34
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Originally Posted by West Coast
If as you describe has occured, it would have been obvious visually or through airframe buffeting.
Or the opposite could have occurred. Imagine slat damage and suddenly pieces of it tear off.
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Old 25th Apr 2019, 02:26
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Originally Posted by b1lanc
Citing AVH,
"According to information The Aviation Herald received on Apr 12th 2019 ground tracks reveal the aircraft was dragging its left wing tip for quite some distance on the ground, the ground tracks even suggest the aircraft came close to ground loop.

The aircraft and left wing tip became airborne just ahead of the runway sign, the left wing tip impacted the sign, parts of which became embedded in the left wing tip. The wing also sustained according damage to its underside near the wingtip."
“When we departed… strong roll to the left… as we climbed out,” the pilot told air traffic controllers shortly after takeoff, according to an audio recording from LiveATC.net.
“We were banking… Uncontrolled bank 45° to the left.”
“Turbulence from another aircraft?” the pilot adds.
“I don’t think so. There’s a good crosswind, but we had an un-commanded roll to the left as we rotated.”

The pilot also tells controllers that the aircraft was at that point “flying great”, and he requests clearance to return to JFK, where the A321 landed without incident at 21:09.
“" I was aboard this aircraft. The take off was fast, rather quick and felt short. Then we pitched down and banked right (left wing up) and then left (right wing up) and the back felt to skid out sideways, I was in the window seat just behind the left wing. Then it felt like the pilot pulled the aircraft up manually. He continued to make very strong left and right banks while in the air before we circled back to JFK. He made an announcement that we had a major computer failure, but that he had control of the airplane and that we'll be making an emergency landing."
Given this description of the ground track, a prevailing crosswind from the right, the reported crew comments and the reported passenger observations this event could be the result of something similar to what occurred to the Lufthansa A320 D-AIPW in 2001. If a mis-wiring of the ELAC plug fitting is still possible (can't recall if Airbus modified this subsequently) then a reversal of the PF's aileron control could possibly account for what's been observed/reported.

Imagine the PF establishing a small into wind right wing down input when rotating to counter the expected effect of the right wing rising due to what he described as a "good crosswind". A reversed aileron input would exacerbate the crosswind's effect of raising the right wing with the PF responding by adding a further reversed right wing down input causing the right wing to rise further and the left to start dragging on the ground. Increased drag on the left side pulls the aircraft to the left eventually with the tip off the paved surface and contacting the DTG sign just as the aircraft gets airborne. Once in the air the reduction in drag on the left side after the impact with the sign induces an initial roll back to the right mentioned by the passenger followed by further roll oscillations to left and right that would be bound to occur if the ailerons were operating in reverse to the PF's stick inputs. As with D-AIPW a transfer of control to the other pilot or engagement of the A/P would have caused the reversed inputs to cease allowing the airplane to be controlled normally and leaving the appearance to the crew of having experienced an uncommanded roll to the left on take-off (which indeed it would be).

There was also at least one instance of spoiler actuators being incorrectly locked out that led to a similar flight control response on rotation, but in that case the uncommanded roll effect persisted throughout the flight which does not accord with the pilot's statement that the aircraft was subsequently "flying great"..

ELAC

https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=147094

https://www.bfu-web.de/EN/Publicatio...ublicationFile

https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=147070

https://assets.publishing.service.go...12__G-KMAM.pdf
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Old 25th Apr 2019, 02:58
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Originally Posted by Squawk7777


Or the opposite could have occurred. Imagine slat damage and suddenly pieces of it tear off.
'Could have happened"

Well, that didn't happen. I could also "what if" a scenario from the actions you propose that ended up with the crew lawn darting. They did what they did based off training and the information available to them and landed safely. You can arm chair it and hypothesize any number of outcomes and work towards building a narrative. I'll point to the successful outcome
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Old 25th Apr 2019, 07:29
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Originally Posted by West Coast
'Could have happened"

Well, that didn't happen. I could also "what if" a scenario from the actions you propose that ended up with the crew lawn darting. They did what they did based off training and the information available to them and landed safely. You can arm chair it and hypothesize any number of outcomes and work towards building a narrative. I'll point to the successful outcome
That was the point I was trying to make. Too many armchair experts here. All I can say is that I wasn't working the flight, meaning I don't know all the details.
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Old 25th Apr 2019, 13:38
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Originally Posted by Jet Jockey A4

No out of range for takeoff trim warning on the Airbus?
Anything I flew only had an out-of-range warning for stab trim. I didn't fly the AB.
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Old 26th Apr 2019, 03:31
  #119 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by ELAC
Given this description of the ground track, a prevailing crosswind from the right, the reported crew comments and the reported passenger observations this event could be the result of something similar to what occurred to the Lufthansa A320 D-AIPW in 2001. If a mis-wiring of the ELAC plug fitting is still possible (can't recall if Airbus modified this subsequently) then a reversal of the PF's aileron control could possibly account for what's been observed/reported.
. . . .
I have had plug reversals on a hydraulic pump, (A333, green/yellow, #2 engine) and I've also had the stick briefly to the stops in the flare when a crosswind picked up a wing, (A320), but a control reversal would be something we'd likely hear loud and clear about right away, wouldn't it? PJ...

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Old 27th Apr 2019, 06:46
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Originally Posted by PJ2
I have had plug reversals on a hydraulic pump, (A333, green/yellow, #2 engine) and I've also had the stick briefly to the stops in the flare when a crosswind picked up a wing, (A320), but a control reversal would be something we'd likely hear loud and clear about right away, wouldn't it? PJ...
You’d like to think so. But, somewhat ironically, I’ve just now noticed that the story behind the “SXF Runway Blocked” thread is a very similar type of an occurrence and yet it took more than a week before any official findings made it into the public domain, so who knows?

Certainly the more time that passes without an AOT the more you tend to expect a more straightforward explanation than reversed wiring of the ELAC.

Cheers!
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