ASN logo
 
Status:Preliminary - official
Date:Sunday 11 July 2021
Time:19:42
Type:Silhouette image of generic A320 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Airbus A320-214
Operator:Condor Flugdienst
Registration: D-AICP
MSN: 2142
First flight: 2003-10-31 (17 years 9 months)
Total airframe hrs:50290
Cycles:18375
Engines: 2 CFMI CFM56-5B4/P
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 6
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 74
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 80
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Kavala-Megas Alexandros Airport (KVA) (   Greece)
Phase: Takeoff (TOF)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Kavala-Megas Alexandros Airport (KVA/LGKV), Greece
Destination airport:Düsseldorf International Airport (DUS/EDDL), Germany
Flightnumber:DE1763
Narrative:
Condor flight 1763, an Airbus A320, returned to land at Kavala-Megas Alexandros Airport, Greece, after the flight crew was unable to retract the undercarriage after takeoff.
The aircraft operated on a round trip from Düsseldorf. On the return leg the captain was Pilot Flying (PF) and the co-pilot Pilot Monitoring (PM).
After take-off from runway 23 at Kavala at 19:42:15 hrs local time, the pilots were not able to retract the landing gear. The landing gear lever was blocked in position DOWN and the co-pilot could not move it into position UP. Shortly after that, the ECAM message L/G SHOCK ABSORBER FAULT was triggered. At 19:42:39 hrs, the captain switched on the autopilot (AP1) at 930 ft AMSL, which disengaged again automatically 8 seconds later. The ECAM messages AUTO FLT AP OFF and AUTO FLT A/THR OFF were triggered. Afterwards it was not possible to engage one of the two autopilots or the autothrust system. For the remainder of the flight the airplane was controlled manually. During climb, the co-pilot informed Kavala Tower that they could not retract the landing gear. At 19:43:32 hrs, the captain reduced speed to 220 kt and the flight was continued in runway direction.
Then the ECAM L/G SHOCK ABSORBER FAULT procedure was performed. The pilots determined that all three landing gears were indicated as extended and locked. This was confirmed by the landing gear indication panel and the image on the ECAM WHEEL page.
At 19:50:15 hrs, the pilots levelled off at FL 100. In agreement with the tower controller they flew within the 25 NM radius of VOR KPL above the Minimum Sector Altitude (MSA) along radials of VOR KPL with headings almost parallel to the runway. VOR KPL was overflown several times. Support with radar vectors was not possible, because there was no radar coverage in that area.
The pilots decided to land at Kavala again with the technical fault present.
It was not clear to the pilots which landing gear was affected by the ECAM message L/G SHOCK ABSORBER FAULT. The co-pilot assumed a landing gear shock absorber fault at one of the two main landing gears. The pilots discussed a potential connection with the rejected take-off the day before at Heraklion.
The co-pilot informed the tower controller about their decision to land at Kavala again. As precautionary action, the flight crew requested the fire brigade. Since the tower controller asked the flight crew for a Mayday call in order to alert the fire brigade, the co-pilot declared emergency after consulting with the captain.
The captain transferred manual control of the airplane to the co-pilot and then informed the cabin crew and the passengers of their decision to return to Kavala. The captain prepared and briefed the VOR-DME approach to runway 23 of Kavala Airport. After taking back control, he performed the approach.
At 20:35:03 hrs the landing with the main landing gear occurred. After touch-down of the nose landing gear the further movement of the nose gear into the shock absorber felt unusually hard. The airplane was decelerated with full reverse and auto brake medium. According to the statement of the flight crew, during taxiing lack of damping of the nose landing gear could be felt.
After the airplane had been parked, a deflated nose landing gear shock absorber and structural damage at the front area of the fuselage, especially in the area of Frame 20, was determined. At this time, there was no visible leakage of the nose landing gear shock absorber.

The day before, on July 10, 2021, the accident aircraft had been involved in a rejected takeoff incident at Heraklion Airport. The flight crew rejected the takeoff at a speed of 137 kt CAS, 2 kt below the decision speed V1. The captain also pulled the side stick back, causing the nose landing gear to lift off. She then pushed the side stick forward and the nose landing gear touched down again. During ground contact, the airplane was in a yaw movement towards the left in the direction of the runway centre.
After the incident all four main gear tires were replaced and the aircraft was ferried to Düsseldorf without passengers on July 11.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: BFU Germany
Status: Investigation ongoing
Accident number: BFU21-0555-2X
Download report: Interim report
Language: English

Classification:

Runway mishap

Sources:
» BEA


Photos

Add your photo of this accident or aircraft

Map
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 Kavala-Megas Alexandros Airport to Düsseldorf International Airport as the crow flies is 1775 km (1110 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.
languages: languages

Share

The Aviation Safety Network is an exclusive service provided by:
Quick Links:

CONNECT WITH US: FSF Facebook FSF Twitter FSF Youtube FSF LinkedIn FSF Instagram

©2022 Flight Safety Foundation

701 N. Fairfax St., Ste. 250
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
www.FlightSafety.org