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Airbus A321 loses directional control on takeoff

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Airbus A321 loses directional control on takeoff

Old 26th Mar 2020, 13:58
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Airbus A321 loses directional control on takeoff

What could have caused this emergency. Seems a bit strange. Warm weather in an area that does not get snow.....

"X-XXXX an Airbus A321 was operating as flight Flight XXX from Point A to Point B. During take-off roll
at approximately 15 kts, Flight crew rejected take off due to loss of directional control. The aircraft
was brought to a full stop and flight crew declared a MAYDAY. After assessment of the situation
and inspection, flight crew taxied the aircraft to the ramp."
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Old 26th Mar 2020, 14:07
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Asymmetric spool up of the engines might be the culprit. As might many other scenarios.

Thereís a comedy set of skid marks on the threshold of 27R at LHR at the moment caused by this very reason. Itís usually handling error.
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Old 26th Mar 2020, 14:11
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Declaring a MAYDAY after a reject at 15 knots?
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Old 26th Mar 2020, 14:26
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Originally Posted by tcasblue View Post
"X-XXXX an Airbus A321 was operating as flight Flight XXX from Point A to Point B.
Air Transat A321 C-GEZO operating TSC783 KFLL-CYQB on March 5th.
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Old 26th Mar 2020, 14:28
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Originally Posted by Airbubba View Post
Declaring a MAYDAY after a reject at 15 knots?
My thoughts exactly. Sorry but WTF?

[LATER] ok, on second thought, I will agree... better safe than sorry. Still...

Last edited by atakacs; 26th Mar 2020 at 18:29.
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Old 26th Mar 2020, 14:35
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If, for whatever reason, you thought you'd just had an engine fire, uncontained engine failure, etc., would "mayday" not be the correct call to get the appropriate emergency response?

Clearly in this case it wasn't so serious, and was deemed so shortly after the call, but isn't better safe than sorry supposed to be the idea at that point?
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Old 26th Mar 2020, 14:49
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Derivation of MAYDAY = "m'aidez" (imperative of "help me" in French).

If one is stuck on the active runway with a problem that can't be solved from the cockpit - there is a certain urgency to the situation. You need ground support ASAP.

A320-class have been known to have jammed nose-gear.
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Old 26th Mar 2020, 14:59
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Edited LiveAtc.net tower audio attached as a .zip file which will open on most computers and some tablets and phones.

Maybe the MAYDAY is procedural on a reject at Air Transat.

The captain says that the nosewheel was about 90 degrees to the left. As mentioned above, this cocked nosewheel seems to be a recurring issue on the A320 variants.

She doesn't ask for assistance and exits runway 28L at J8.
Attached Files
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Old 26th Mar 2020, 15:04
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A/C: "Mayday,May..."
...a few seconds later...
TWR: "Do you require any assistance right now?"
A/C: "Negative"


If the crew could do it over again, they most probably wouldn't use the M-word again. Training instinct kicking in? Like the crashing 777 at LHR, using the training callsign for their mayday call
And just maybe they had more important things to focus on, than the optimal phraseology?


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Old 26th Mar 2020, 15:17
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Couldn't agree more with Dibo. So they said MayDay. Big deal. You get attention real quick which is what you want in a 'situation'. It can be cancelled at any point after.
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Old 26th Mar 2020, 16:27
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Anyone considered that he may have called MayDay because he was stuck on a live runway, unable to vacate and maybe, just maybe wanted to get everyoneís attention that something potentially dangerous was going on....
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Old 26th Mar 2020, 16:28
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Agreed. With 20/20 hindsight, unnecessary. At the time? Good call, Skip
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Old 26th Mar 2020, 18:06
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Aircraft departed 60 minutes after the RTO.
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Old 26th Mar 2020, 21:01
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Not that I feel strongly about this but it reminded me that years ago I had an Air France pilot as sim examiner who really wanted us to declare a mayday for any abort. I didn't necessarily agree with him but apparently it's a thing for some people.
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Old 26th Mar 2020, 21:07
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Engaging the ATs before engines are spooled up can sometimes result in an engine spooling up much faster than the other one. This can, and has, caused a similar problem on a B757.
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Old 26th Mar 2020, 21:14
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Originally Posted by N1EPR View Post
Engaging the ATs before engines are spooled up can sometimes result in an engine spooling up much faster than the other one. This can, and has, caused a similar problem on a B757.
On all the Airbus types I know the AT is engaged at thrust reduction altitude. As per system logic on the TO roll the system is only armed, so I doubt itís the case here
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Old 27th Mar 2020, 01:24
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Been there, done that. Badly judged "rolling take-off" with TLs stood up before aircraft even close to lined up on runway heading. This then required more tiller input which made it worse. I spent next few months blushing with embarrassment each time I passed the very impressive tyre marks I had left on the piano keys.
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Old 27th Mar 2020, 02:59
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Originally Posted by atakacs View Post
My thoughts exactly. Sorry but WTF?

[LATER] ok, on second thought, I will agree... better safe than sorry. Still...
Transat pilots are required to call Mayday for any reject. They also fly to various places in the Caribbean and latin america where ATC coms (and efficiency) are substandard and they had issues during rejects (in Cuba): ATC did not understand the words reject/stopping and cleared the other aircraft to land. Consequently the Mayday call is now required to improve the safety especially in these countries (and pilots use it as robots at any destination even if it may not be necessary).

Last edited by RMP2; 27th Mar 2020 at 03:22.
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Old 27th Mar 2020, 07:28
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All decisions are correct at the time, in the view of the decider, in the situation, and as understood by them.
With hindsight, decisions might be be questioned, but not concluded unless you were there or have all of the facts leading up to the event.

Re asymmetric engine spool-up, see Airbus article in :-

https://www.airbus.com/content/dam/c...agazine-27.pdf

Note discussion on the effect of crosswind.


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Old 27th Mar 2020, 08:21
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Originally Posted by RMP2 View Post
Transat pilots are required to call Mayday for any reject. They also fly to various places in the Caribbean and latin america where ATC coms (and efficiency) are substandard and they had issues during rejects (in Cuba): ATC did not understand the words reject/stopping and cleared the other aircraft to land. Consequently the Mayday call is now required to improve the safety especially in these countries (and pilots use it as robots at any destination even if it may not be necessary).
It's a tad unkind to describe pilots who follow SOPs as robots.
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