Close sidebar

Distracted A380 pilot entered wrong takeoff data – ATSB

written by | August 8, 2012
Qantas says it has updated its pre-flight procedures after an A380 pilot failed to correctly input runway information prior to departure from LAX last year.

A distracted Qantas A380 pilot incorrectly entered departure runway information into the aircraft’s flight management system ahead of takeoff from Los Angeles last October, resulting in takeoff speeds not being displayed on the aircraft’s flight instruments as it rolled down the runway, the ATSB has found.

As a result, the flightcrew were forced to call out takeoff speeds from their notes instead. The aircraft lifted off successfully and proceeded without incident to Melbourne.

According to the ATSB investigation, the captain was distracted while updating a runway change into the aircraft’s FMS prior to taxiing and did not complete the procedure correctly. The flight computer twice displayed a message to check the takeoff data prior to departure, but in both cases the first officer cleared the message, believing in the first case that it was going to be updated and in the second that it had been.


Qantas said it had updated its procedures to avoid any misunderstanding of the required actions in case of a runway change. The airline also said Airbus has updated the aircraft’s warning systems as part of a planned upgrade program.

The incident occurred aboard A380 VH-OQE on October 8 2011.

For just $59.95 a year, you can keep up to date with the very best of Australian Aviation each month, directly via our app! Our app is available on mobile, tablet and PC devices. So what are you waiting for? Go digital with Australian Aviation and read up on all missed special coverage, exclusive photos and editions. Subscribe now at

Each day, our subscribers are more informed with the right information.

SIGN UP to the Australian Aviation magazine for high-quality news and features for just $99.95 per year