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Air2K A320 Tailstrike incident in Greece???

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Air2K A320 Tailstrike incident in Greece???

Old 9th Dec 2002, 18:03
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Tailstrike

Has anyone got details of an Air2 bob airbus incident in Greece. I'm told it was incorrectly loaded and tipped onto its tail when TO power was applied. Pax refused to fly with same crew again?
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Old 9th Dec 2002, 19:19
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You mean to say there wasn't a single Sun reader on an Air2k flight?
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Old 9th Dec 2002, 21:23
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Correct, most people can't read the Sun, they just look at the pictures.
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Old 9th Dec 2002, 22:09
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How bad is the loading if that happends!?
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Old 9th Dec 2002, 22:16
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It sounds somehow 'unconvincing'!
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Old 9th Dec 2002, 23:39
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Feels like the floor strenght would give in post tipping
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Old 10th Dec 2002, 09:10
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Cool

I do not know if the Air2000 story is true. However, it is possible to get an A320 tip on application of TO power.

It happened a few years ago to an A320 at Gatwick, the aircraft had dropped off some passengers and bags and was continuing with a part load to it's final destination. Most of the remaining bags were in the rear!
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Old 10th Dec 2002, 10:27
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Loadsheet procedures should ensure this never happens. When the Captain signs for the loadsheet, he is effectively signing for the responsibility for correct aircraft loading and balance. Unless this was disastrously out and done by someone who didn't know what they were doing, then this could raise a manufacturer's issue. It doesn't sound credible.
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Old 10th Dec 2002, 13:00
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I used to fly down the back on ATR's. The 72 version has a tail prop in case of sagging shall we say! I often had to remind ground crews at not so regular destinations to empty the back hold first. As all of us were aware of the risk and talked to those at the front we never had a problem with loading on the way out. One advantage of internal holds, you can see what they're trying to put on board and where.
I seem to recall the story mentioned by kinsman from somewhere around 1995. If I remember correctly the MAN pax were not distributed evenly after the LGW pax got off. As the aircraft accelerated the nose started porpoising and the take off was rejected.

Last edited by Ex Servant; 10th Dec 2002 at 13:14.
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Old 10th Dec 2002, 14:05
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My point was that in a pax version (like Air2BoB has if my memory serves me right ) I would imagin that it would take some serious miss-loading...
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Old 10th Dec 2002, 15:34
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This isn't as strange as it sounds.
Speaking as an ex-dispatcher who dealt with the A320/321 several times a day,I'm not surprised this happened.Used to work for AF and we certainly had a memo about possible A320 nosewheel extension i.e. nosewheel lifting off the ground when the a/c was stationary due to loading characteristics.......and this is not another bull**** story cos I've seen it happen!!
As for the person who said "loadsheet procedures would ensure that this NEVER happens",what utter nonsense!!!I know plenty of people who have made errors in loading,inputting data onto loadsheets etc. that could,in serious circumstances,have resulted in this outcome.
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Old 10th Dec 2002, 18:19
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As an a/c engineer i've often seen the nosewheels off the ground during unloading of A320's. It normally happens at airports where they only have a airbridge at the forward door, consequently pax getting off the front make the already tail heavy 320 even heavier. First time i saw it, i nearly s**t myself, however i soon got used to it and just monitored the situation closely.
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Old 10th Dec 2002, 18:48
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when pax are getting off the plane, the difference between the fwd and the aft hold may not exceed 2000kg , to prevent the a/c from tipping. As someone else pointed out, this has nothing to do with correct/incorrect loadsheet.
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Old 10th Dec 2002, 19:33
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While since I've flown the 320. But I seem to remember being taught to apply full forward side stick at the start of the takeoff run/applying power to help prevent this happening so I guess its happened before.
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Old 10th Dec 2002, 20:17
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Unless applying full forward to sidestick extends main gear oleos and retracts nose gear oleos,which i doubt,then there is no point applying an a/c nose down input to elevator control surfaces at such slow speeds to counteract the shift in cog............
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Old 10th Dec 2002, 20:32
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Wink

Almost right, Icepick. It's normally half forward stick to counter the effect of setting TO thrust.

However, that's to keep more weight on the nosewheels to help directional control, not to stop the beast tipping up. A correctly loaded A320 will not tip up even with neutral elevator. And, for what it's worth, it will also be controllable on rotation even if the stab trim is way out. To clarify that, as long as the stab trim is somewhere in the green sector, and the aircraft CofG is somewhere in the take off range, you will fly. The rotation may not be 'standard' but you'll get airborne safely. Not all aircraft have this luxury.

But, as the LGW incident appears to have proved some time ago, grossly mis-loading the aircraft certainly can lead to a tailstrike if the trim sheet does not reflect the actual loading (if the trim sheet reflected the actual loading, you would have the clue that the CofG was somewhere off the right hand side of the page!). That is also true on many other aircraft.
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Old 12th Dec 2002, 10:06
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Not sure about loading probs and tailstrikes, but the A320 family can be affected by to much into-wind sidestick during a crosswind takeoff.......if the spoilers pop up, it causes a nose up pitch.
There have been a few takeoff tailscrapes due above.

better to have no into wind stick than too much !!

Try pulling the speedbrake lever out without the AP engaged !!
and watch the little devil.

 
Old 12th Dec 2002, 19:24
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My company's FCOM (which is a VERY close copy of the Airbus Industrie FCOM) states in the SOP section for take off:

"To counter the nose-up effect of setting engine take-off thrust, apply half forward stick until the airspeed reaches 80 knots. Release the stick gradually to reach neutral at 100 knots"

GF
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Old 12th Dec 2002, 19:56
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Greenfinch, you are correct, but that SOP presupposes that the aircraft c of g is within the certified limits to start with.

I'm not sure, but if memory serves me correctly, an Excalibur A320 had an 'incident' on T/O years ago which transpired to have a c of g well aft of the certified range. Problem I believe was that they had transit pax on board, who had all been located in rear of acft, with the disembarking pax originally having been seated at the front of the aircraft. Some check in staff, ignorant of the effects of loading probably thought it easier to differentiate between those disembarking and those staying on board!Consequence was that when they then departed on the next sector, all the pax were at the rear of the aircraft, hence c of g well aft of limits. The cabin crew had not advised the flight deck of the abnormal seating, probably because no-one ever told the cabin crew that even distribution of pax was significant!

Due to someone else's misfortune, others benefit. As standard practice after this event we would always ask the No 1 to ensure the appropriate distribution of pax in the 3 zones that showed on our loadsheet, and if necessary reseat the pax to achieve that. They had to reseat pax quite frequently, because experience showed you could not rely on the check in personnel to ensure correct distribution.

On stand, there were explicit instructions. Loading always commenced with forward hold, then rear. Unloading was the reverse. This was especially important whilst boarding and deboarding of pax.

The A320 would experience significant changes of c of g when boarding/deboarding, loading and unloading of baggage and whilst refuelling. Add all 3 elements together at the same time, such as a quick turnround, then you have the potential problems. Easily manageable if you know what problems to look out for, as any seasoned 320 operator now knows very well.
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Old 13th Dec 2002, 08:43
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The same incident happened to a B737-800 2 weeks ago in Germany. The effect of applying full nose down elevator will do abosultely nothing to help this type of incident as the movement of elevator does not change the CG.

If the loadsheet looks right then the Commander will sign it. It is impossible for the Commander to check every piece of luggage (position and weight), check the passengers are sitting where their boarding card says they should be, etc. This kind of problem is caused by inefficient training by the ground handling company.

When the tail stuck on the B737-800 the aircraft was doing about 5kts groundspeed and it was the fuselage that struck the ground, not the tailskid.
Something to keep in mind about the B737
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