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Date:Tuesday 14 February 2012
Type:Silhouette image of generic A319 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Airbus A319-111
Registration: G-EZFV
MSN: 4327
First flight: 2010
Engines: 2 CFMI CFM56-5B5/3
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 6
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 142
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 148
Aircraft damage: Minor
Aircraft fate: Repaired
Location:London-Luton Airport (LTN) (   United Kingdom)
Phase: Landing (LDG)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Faro Airport (FAO/LPFR), Portugal
Destination airport:London-Luton Airport (LTN/EGGW), United Kingdom
An Airbus A319-111 passenger plane was involved in a landing accident at London-Luton Airport (LTN), United Kingdom. There were no injuries among the 142 passengers and six crew members.
The aircraft was on a scheduled flight to London-Luton Airport (LTN), from Faro Airport (FAO) Portugal. The pilot flying (PF) was a captain-under-training, occupying the left seat; the right seat was occupied by a training captain, who was the commander of the aircraft.
The aircraft was given an early radar vector towards the final approach track to runway 26 and the PF increased the rate of descent to close the correct descent profile from above.
The aircraft was then allocated a heading of 220°M, cleared to intercept the localiser and, once established, to descend on the glidepath. The PF realised that the aircraft would be high and configured the aircraft with flap 2 and the landing gear down, to capture the 3° glideslope from above. He armed the localiser mode and then attempted to arm the approach mode but inadvertently selected the EXPED pushbutton. The expedite climb mode engaged but, to prevent a climb or any mode confusion and to regain the correct profile, the PF disconnected the autopilot and the autothrust. The aircraft passed through the localiser and ATC issued a revised heading to enable the aircraft to intercept from the south.
The PF decided to continue flying the approach manually and the aircraft was established on the localiser at 5.5 nm. It was configured for landing, with full flap, at 5 nm. Landing clearance was issued, with a reported surface wind of 320°/15 kt. A subsequent wind check of 320°/16 kt was broadcast three minutes before touchdown. The wind conditions were gusty and gave rise to some turbulence on the approach.
Stabilised approach criteria were met at 1,000 ft and 500 ft radio altitude (RA). The VAPP (final approach) speed was 129 kt and at 50 ft RA the approach remained stable. Just below 50 ft there was a small nose-up pitch input followed by two nose-down inputs and, below 50 ft, the flight data indicated an increasing rate of descent from about 600 fpm to about 850 fpm. The data also showed that, below 100 ft RA, there were some left and right roll control inputs.
Below 30 ft, over the runway, both pilots sensed that the aircraft was sinking rapidly and both initiated a TOGA 10 go-around. The PF momentarily retarded the thrust levers to idle before advancing them to the TOGA (Takeoff and Go-around) position. At the same time, he made a full forward sidestick input, within one second, which was then rapidly reversed to full aft sidestick. As the PF made the forward sidestick input, the commander initiated an aft sidestick input which reached the full aft position within one second.
He followed through the PF, pushing the thrust levers fully forward and announced "I HAVE CONTROL". The aircraft made firm contact with the runway at 2.99g and a 12.5 ft/sec rate of descent. It touched down on all three landing gear legs simultaneously, before lifting off and starting to climb. During this phase the PF relinquished control and reverted to the PNF role.
The commander remained as the PF, completed the go-around and subsequently carried out an uneventful landing on the same runway. There were no reported injuries.

Probable Cause:

CONCLUSION: "Both pilots responded to an increased rate of descent approaching touchdown and each initiated a TOGA 10 go-around. Their initial sidestick inputs were in opposition and, without the use of the takeover sidestick pushbutton, the net effect was a pitch-down control input. If the commander had operated the sidestick takeover pushbutton, his nose-up pitch input would not have been counteracted by the nose-down input of the Capt U/T. In the event, his control input reduced the effect of the nose-down input made by the Capt U/T."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: AAIB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 11 months
Accident number: EW/C2012/02/03
Download report: Final report
Language: English

Heavy landing
Runway mishap


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This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Faro Airport to London-Luton Airport as the crow flies is 1745 km (1091 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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