Related News

Home » World

Jet slams its tail over data screw-up

A JET carrying 275 people slammed its tail into the runway during takeoff from Australia because someone programed the wrong weight for the plane into a flight computer, investigators said yesterday.

No one was hurt when the Emirates airline Airbus A340 scraped its tail taking off from the southern city of Melbourne on March 20, damaging the plane and runway and causing smoke to enter the cabin. The plane dumped its fuel at sea then returned to Melbourne for an emergency landing.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau said in a preliminary report that the weight of the plane entered into a computer used to calculate how much thrust was needed for a safe takeoff was too light by 110 tons.

The result was some tense moments in the cockpit as the pilots realized they had not given the plane enough power to get off the ground. As the plane reached takeoff speed, the captain called for his co-pilot to begin liftoff, but the plane's nose did not rise off the ground, the bureau said.

With the end of the runway approaching, the captain again called for liftoff and the co-pilot tried again - this time succeeding in raising the nose but leaving the tail dragging on the ground.

The tail ripped out at least one runway light and a radio antenna, and a flight data recorder at the rear of the plane was dislodged.

The captain then pushed the thrust levers to the maximum setting, the engines roared and the plane finally took off.

Julian Walsh, the bureau's director of aviation safety investigation, signaled that human error was believed to have caused the problem.

"There's no suggestion of any problem with the aircraft," he said. "The focus of the investigation is on the operation of the aircraft."


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend