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Bungled speed calculation led to landing gear incident on Jetstar A320 – ATSB

written by Adam Thorn | February 25, 2020

An ATSB investigation has revealed how a flap and landing gear retraction incident was caused by Jetstar crew inadvertently miscalculating take-off speeds on an A320 flight from Sydney to Melbourne.

The crew were forced to manually work out measurements from take-off charts because they were unable to use two electronic flight bags and check take-off performance data.

However, they calculated speeds higher than required for the aircraft weight and environmental conditions. Crucially, their mistake was not noticed by independent verification and cross-checking, the ATSB said in its findings.

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Australian Aviation understands the flaps and landing gear were retracted only marginally outside recommended speeds.

Jetstar told Australian Aviation in a statement, “We reported the matter to the ATSB and conducted an internal investigation, with a reminder issued to our pilots about the importance of adhering to standard operating procedures.”

ATSB transport safety director Dr Stuart Godley said, “This incident highlights the importance of independent validation and cross-check of flight performance data, in particular performance speeds and aircraft weight.”

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He added that it also emphasised the importance of considering reasonability and accuracy checks, consulting company procedures manuals in the event of electronic flight bag issues, and conducting a normal rotation followed by reference to the Speed Reference System.

The full report can be read by clicking on the document above or visiting the ATSB’s website here.

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2 Comments

  • Brian Richard Allen

    says:

    …. The crew were (sic) forced to manually work out measurements from take-off charts because they (sic) were unable to use two electronic flight bags and check take-off performance data ….

    An indicator, surely, that nowadays not even QANTAS and its offshoots are immune from people in pilot costumes populating its previously reserved-for-pilots’ perches. On an as-serious note, “crew” is singular so “the crew was …” This notwithstanding the crew was not forced to work out anything. Rather, it was required of the crew that it manually calculate the take-off speeds — or that it admit that it could not — and find someone who could. Any flying-club’s newest-minted Private Pilot – for example – through any 300-Hour Ag-2.

  • As I live and breathe, this is not Brian Allen of Aircraft Accident Investigation Summary Report AS/695/1033?

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