Accidents and Incidents
This directory contains articles about particular Accidents and Incidents that are considered illustrative of the contemporary safety issues and recommended potential solutions. The information contained in the article summarising an individual accident or incident is derived from the published official investigation report, which may in each case be found on the SKYbrary bookshelf wherever possible in English as provided by the publishing Investigation Agency. A direct link to each official report is provided at the end of each summary article. The complete list of events is provided on this and the following pages in the order of the ICAO aircraft type designator in alphabetical order.
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Time of Day
Phase of Flight
Air Ground Communication
Controlled Flight Into Terrain
Loss of Control
Loss of Separation
Wake Vortex Turbulence
AW Affected System(s)
AW Contributing Factor(s)
Causal Factor Group(s)
A321 / B738, Dublin Ireland, 2011 On 21 May 2011, a Monarch Airlines A321 taxiing for departure at Dublin inadvertently taxied onto an active runway after failing to follow its taxi clearance. The incursion was not noticed by ATC but the crew of a Boeing 737 taking off from the same runway did see the other aircraft and initiated a very high speed rejected take off stopping 360 metres from it. The incursion occurred in a complex manoeuvring area to a crew unfamiliar with the airport at a location which was not a designated hot spot. Various mitigations against incursions at this position have since been implemented.
A321 / B738, en-route, south eastern Bulgaria, 2016 On 8 September 2016, an Airbus A321 en route in Bulgarian airspace at FL 350 was given and acknowledged a descent but then climbed and came within 1.2nm of a descending Boeing 737. The Investigation found that the inexperienced A321 First Officer had been temporarily alone when the instruction was given and had insufficient understanding of how to control the aircraft. It was also found that despite an STCA activation of the collision risk, the controller, influenced by a Mode ‘S’ downlink of the correctly-set A321 cleared altitude, had then added to the risk by instructing the 737 to descend.
A321, Charlotte NC USA, 2015 On 15 August 2015, an Airbus A321 on approach to Charlotte commenced a go around but following a temporary loss of control as it did so then struck approach and runway lighting and the undershoot area sustaining a tail strike before climbing away. The Investigation noted that the 2.1g impact caused substantial structural damage to the aircraft and attributed the loss of control to a small microburst and the crew’s failure to follow appropriate and recommended risk mitigations despite clear evidence of risk given by the aircraft when it went around and available visually.
A321, Daegu South Korea, 2006 On 21 February 2006, an Airbus A321-200 being operated by China Eastern on a scheduled passenger flight from Daegu to Shanghai Pudong failed to follow the marked taxiway centreline when taxiing for departure in normal daylight visibility and a wing tip impacted an adjacent building causing minor damage to both building and aircraft. None of the 166 occupants were injured.
A321, en-route, Gimpo South Korea, 2006 On 9 June 2006, an Airbus 321-100, operated by Asiana Airlines, encountered a thunderstorm accompanied by Hail around 20 miles southeast of Anyang VOR at an altitude of 11,500 ft, while descending for an approach to Gimpo Airport. The radome was detached and the cockpit windshield was cracked due to impact with Hail.
A321, en-route, near Pamplona Spain, 2014 On 5 November 2014, the crew of an Airbus A321 temporarily lost control of their aircraft in the cruise and were unable to regain it until 4000 feet of altitude had been lost. An investigation into the causes is continuing but it is already known that blockage of more than one AOA probe resulted in unwanted activation of high AOA protection which could not be stopped by normal sidestick inputs until two of the three ADRs had been intentionally deactivated in order to put the flight control system into Alternate Law.
A321, en-route, north of Kaohsiung Taiwan, 2019 On 29 October 2019, an Airbus A321 was descending towards its destination, Kaohsiung, when the First Officer suddenly lost consciousness without warning. The Captain declared a MAYDAY and with cabin crew assistance, he was secured clear of the flight controls and given oxygen which appeared beneficial. He was then removed to the passenger cabin where a doctor recommended continuing oxygen treatment. On arrival, he had fully regained consciousness. Medical examination and tests both on arrival and subsequently were unable to identify a cause although a context of cumulative fatigue was considered likely after three consecutive nights of inadequate sleep.
A321, en-route, Northern Sudan, 2010 On 24 August 2010, an Airbus A321-200 being operated by British Midland on a scheduled public transport service from Khartoum to Beirut experienced, during cruise at FL360 in night IMC, an electrical malfunction which was accompanied by intermittent loss of the display on both pilots’ EFIS and an uncommanded change to a left wing low attitude. De-selection of the No 1 generator and subsequent return of the rudder trim, which had not previously been intentionally moved, to neutral removed all abnormalities and the planned flight was completed without further event with no damage to the aircraft or injuries to the 49 occupants.
A321, Fuerteventura Spain, 2016 On 16 July 2016, an Airbus A321’s unstabilised approach at Fuerteventura during pilot line training was not discontinued and takeover of control and commencement of a go-around had occurred just before a very hard runway contact. The subsequent landing was successful but serious damage to the main landing gear was not rectified before the next flight. The Investigation found that the hard touchdown had been recorded as in excess of 3.3g and that the return flight had been “risky and unsafe” after failure of the Captain and maintenance personnel at the Operator to recognise the seriousness of the hard landing.
A321, Glasgow UK, 2019 On 24 November 2019, as an Airbus A321 taking off from the 2665 metre-long runway 05 at Glasgow approached the calculated V1 with the flex thrust they had set, the aircraft was not accelerating as expected and they applied TOGA thrust. This resulted in the aircraft becoming airborne with less than 400 metres of runway remaining. The Investigation confirmed what the crew had subsequently discovered for themselves - that they had both made an identical error in their independent EFB performance calculations which the subsequent standard procedures and checks had not detected. The operator is reviewing its related checking procedures.
A321, Hakodate Japan, 2002 On 21 January 2002, an Airbus A321-100 being operated by All Nippon Airways on a scheduled passenger flight from Nagoya to Hakodate encountered sudden negative windshear just prior to planned touchdown and the pitch up which followed resulted in the aft fuselage being damaged prior to the initiation of a climb away to position for a further approach which led to a normal landing. Three of the cabin crew sustained minor injuries but the remaining 90 occupants were uninjured.
A321, Hurghada Egypt, 2013 On 28 February 2013, the initial night landing attempt of a Ural Airlines Airbus A321 at Hurghada was mishandled in benign conditions resulting in a tail strike due to over-rotation. The Investigation noted that a stabilised approach had been flown by the First Officer but found that the prescribed recovery from the effects of a misjudged touchdown had not then been followed. It was also concluded that communication between the two pilots had been poor and that the aircraft commander's monitoring role had been ineffective. The possibility of the effects of fatigue was noted.
A321, Incheon South Korea, 2013 On 16 April 2013, an A321 sustained significant damage during a tail strike during a bounced landing which followed loss of airspeed and an increase in sink rate shortly before touchdown after an otherwise stabilised approach. The Investigation attributed the tail strike to a failure to follow the recommended bounced landing response and noted the inadequate training provided by Asiana for bounced landing recovery.
A321, Manchester UK, 2008 (1) On 18 July 2008, an Airbus A321-200 operated by Thomas Cook Airlines experienced hard landing during night line training with significant aircraft damage not found until several days later. The hard landing was subsequently partially attributed to the inability to directly observe the trainee pitch control inputs on side stick of the A321.
A321, Manchester UK, 2011 (1) On 29 April 2011, an Airbus A321-200 being operated by Thomas Cook Airlines on a passenger service from Manchester UK to Iraklion, Greece took off in day VMC but failed to establish a climb at the expected speed until the aircraft pitch attitude was reduced below that prescribed for the aircraft weight which had been entered into the FMS. No abnormal manoeuvres occurred and none of the 231 occupants were injured.
A321, Manchester UK, 2011 (2) On 23 December 2011, an Austrian Airlines Airbus A321 sustained a tail strike at Manchester as the main landing gear contacted the runway during a night go around initiated at a very low height after handling difficulties in the prevailing wind shear. The remainder of the go around and subsequent approach in similar conditions was uneventful and the earlier tail strike was considered to have been the inevitable consequence of initiating a go around so close to the ground after first reducing thrust to idle. Damage to the aircraft rendered it unfit for further flight until repaired but was relatively minor.
A321, New York JFK USA, 2019 On 10 April 2019, an Airbus A321 suddenly rolled sharply left just as it was getting airborne from New York JFK at night and reports followed of left wing damage observed from the cabin. After an uneventful return to land, evidence of wing impact was found beyond the edge of the 60 metre-wide runway and confirmed by wing inspection. The left roll during rotation was attributed to an excessive and unexplained left rudder pedal input by the Captain. The damage caused was sufficient to result in the six year old aircraft being declared an economic hull loss and scrapped.
A321, Sandefjord Norway, 2006 A321 experienced minimal braking action during the daylight landing roll in wet snow conditions and normal visibility and an overrun occurred. The aircraft came to a stop positioned sideways in relation to the runway centreline with the right hand main landing gear 2 metres beyond the limit of the paved surface.
A321, Valencia Spain, 2019 On 5 August 2019, an Airbus A321 crew declared a MAYDAY immediately after clearing the landing runway at Valencia when a hold smoke warning was annunciated. An emergency evacuation was completed without injuries. This warning followed “white smoke” from the air conditioning system entering both the passenger cabin and flight deck in the four minutes before landing which had prompted the pilots to don oxygen masks. The Investigation found the white smoke was the direct consequence of an oil leak from the right engine as a result of the misalignment and breakage of a bearing and its associated hydraulic seal.
A321, vicinity Deauville France, 2013 On 26 September 2013, an Airbus A321 approaching Deauville in day VMC was advised that only a GNSS instrument approach - for which the crew were not approved - was available for the active runway. During the subsequent visual approach, the crew lost sight of the runway whilst over the sea and descended to almost the same height as the land ahead, eventually triggering an EGPWS ‘PULL UP’ Warning. The approach was subsequently abandoned after an EGPWS ‘SINK RATE’ Alert on short finals and non-standard positioning to the opposite runway direction, followed by a landing in the originally expected direction.
A321, vicinity Islamabad Pakistan, 2010 On 28 July 2010, the crew of an Airbus A321 lost contact with the runway at Islamabad during a visual circling approach and continued in IMC outside the protected area and flying into terrain after repeatedly ignoring EGPWS Terrain Alerts and PULL UP Warnings. The Investigation concluded that the Captain had pre-planned a non-standard circuit which had been continued into IMC and had then failed to maintain situational awareness, control the aircraft through correct FMU inputs or respond to multiple EGPWS Warnings. The inexperienced First Officer appeared unwilling to take control in the absence of corrective action by the Captain.
A321, vicinity London Gatwick, UK 2020 On 26 February 2020, after a difficult Airbus A321 left engine first flight of the day start, the same happened on the third sector with en-route engine abnormalities then affecting both engines. With no fault found during post flight maintenance inspections and despite similar engine starting problems, both engines then malfunctioned after takeoff from Gatwick. A MAYDAY return followed. Investigation found that the cause was fuel system contamination by addition of approximately 38 times the correct quantity of biocide during earlier scheduled maintenance and that the release of the aircraft to service for the flight had followed inadequate troubleshooting action.
A321, vicinity Singapore, 2010 On 27 May 2010 an Airbus A321-200 being operated by Australian operator JetStar on a passenger flight from Darwin to Singapore continued an initial approach at destination in day VMC with the aircraft inappropriately configured before a late go around was commenced which was also flown in a configuration contrary to prescribed SOPs. A subsequent second approach proceeded to an uneventful landing. There were no unusual or sudden manoeuvres during the event and no injuries to the occupants.
A332 / A332, en-route, near Adelaide South Australia, 2013 On 20 September 2013, a loss of separation occurred between two en route Airbus A330s under radar surveillance in controlled airspace near Adelaide. The potential conflict was resolved with TCAS RA action by one of the aircraft involved but the TCAS equipment on board the other aircraft appeared to have malfunctioned and did not display any traffic information or generate an RA. The complex pattern of air routes in the vicinity of the event was identified by the Investigation as a Safety Issue requiring resolution by the ANSP and the response subsequently received was assessed as satisfactory.
A332 / A333, en-route, North West Australia, 2012 On 31 March 2012, after the implementation of contingency ATC procedures for a period of 5 hours due to controller shortage, two Garuda A330 aircraft which had been transiting an associated Temporary Restricted Area (TRA) prior to re-entering controlled airspace were separately involved in losses of separation assurance, one when unexpectedly entering adjacent airspace from the TRA, the other when the TRA ceased and controlled airspace was restored. The Investigation did not find that any actual loss of separation had occurred but identified four Safety Issues in relation to the inadequate handling of the TRA activation by ANSP Airservices Australia.
A332 / RJ1H, vicinity Zurich Switzerland, 2004 On 31 October 2004, a Loss of Separation occurred between an A330-200, on a low go-around from Rwy 14 at Zurich Switzerland, and an Avro RJ100 which had been cleared for take-off on Rwy 10 and was on a convergent flight path.
A332 / Vehicle, Madrid Spain, 2014 On 17 October 2014, an Airbus A330-200 crew taking off from Madrid at night detected non-runway lights ahead as they accelerated through approximately 90 knots. ATC were unaware what they might be and the lights subsequently disappeared, and the crew continued the takeoff. A reportedly unlit vehicle at the side of the runway was subsequently passed just before rotation. The Investigation found that the driver of an external contractor's vehicle had failed to correctly route to the parallel runway which was closed overnight for maintenance but had not realised this until he saw the lights of an approaching aircraft.
A332 MRTT, en-route, south eastern Black Sea, 2014 On 9 February 2014, the Captain of a military variant of the Airbus A330 suddenly lost control during the cruise on a passenger flight. A violent, initially negative 'g', pitch down occurred which reached 15800 fpm as the speed rose to Mach 0.9. In the absence of any effective crew intervention, recovery was achieved entirely by the aircraft Flight Envelope Protection System. The Investigation found that the upset had occurred when the Captain moved his seat forward causing its left arm rest to contact the personal camera he had placed behind the sidestick, forcing the latter fully forward.
A332, Abu Dhabi UAE, 2012 On 30 January 2012, an Airbus A330 departing Abu Dhabi at night lined up on the runway edge lights in the prevailing low visibility and attempted to take off. The take off was eventually rejected and the aircraft towed away from the runway. Damage was limited to that resulting from the impact of the aircraft landing gear with runway edge lights and the resultant debris. An Investigation is continuing into the circumstances and causation of the incident.
A332, Caracas Venezuela, 2013 On 13 April 2013, an Air France Airbus A330-200 was damaged during a hard (2.74 G) landing at Caracas after the aircraft commander continued despite the aircraft becoming unstabilised below 500 feet agl with an EGPWS ‘SINK RATE’ activation beginning in the flare. Following a superficial inspection, maintenance personnel determined that no action was required and released the aircraft to service. After take off, it was impossible to retract the landing gear and the aircraft returned. Considerable damage from the earlier landing was then found to both fuselage and landing gear which had rendered the aircraft unfit to fly.
A332, Dubai UAE, 2014 On 23 October 2014 an Airbus A330-200 made a sharp brake application to avoid overrunning the turn onto the parking gate at Dubai after flight. A cabin crew member who had left their seat prior to the call from the flight deck to prepare doors, fell and sustained serious neck and back injuries. The investigation found that the sudden braking had led to the fall but concluded that the risk had arisen because required cabin crew procedures had not been followed.
A332, en-route, Atlantic Ocean, 2009 On 1 June 2009, an Airbus A330-200 being operated by Air France on a scheduled passenger flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris CDG as AF447 exited controlled flight and crashed into the sea with the loss of the aircraft and all 228 occupants. It was found that the loss of control followed an inappropriate response by the flight crew to a transient loss of airspeed indications in the cruise which resulted from the vulnerability of the pitot heads to ice crystal icing.
A332, en-route, Central African Republic, 2020 On 31 December 2020, an Airbus A330-200 identified a fuel leak during a routine top-of-climb check but instead of following the prescribed engine shutdown and leak isolation procedure and then landing as soon as possible, the crew had continued on track until diverting to N’Djaména over 90 minutes later by which time nearly six tonnes of fuel was missing. The leak was caused by an incorrectly assembled connection at the pylon/engine interface. The flight crew’s significant procedural non-compliance was identified as having introduced an avoidable fire risk and been indicative of a systemically weak safety culture at the airline concerned.
A332, en-route, mid Atlantic, 2013 On 2 September 2013, an Airbus A330-200 crossing the ITCZ at FL400 at night encountered sudden severe turbulence unanticipated by the crew resulting in serious injuries to a few cabin crew / passengers and minor injuries to twelve others. An en route diversion to Fortaleza was made. The Investigation found that the origin of the turbulence was severe convective weather and failure to detect it in an area where it had been forecasted indicated that it was probably associated with sub-optimal use of the on-board weather radar with the severity of the encounter possibly aggravated by inappropriate contrary control inputs.
A332, en-route, near Bangka Island Indonesia, 2016 On 4 May 2016, an Airbus A330-200 in the cruise in day VMC at FL390 in the vicinity of a highly active thunderstorm cell described by the crew afterwards as ‘cumulus cloud’ encountered a brief episode of severe clear air turbulence which injured 24 passengers and crew, seven of them seriously as well as causing some damage to cabin fittings and equipment. The Investigation was unable to determine how close to the cloud the aircraft had been but noted the absence of proactive risk management and that most of the injured occupants had not been secured in their seats.
A332, en-route, near Dar es Salaam Tanzania, 2012 On 27 February 2012, the crew of an Airbus A330 en route at night and crossing the East African coast at FL360 encountered sudden violent turbulence as they flew into a convective cell not seen on their weather radar and briefly lost control as their aircraft climbed 2000 feet with resultant minor injuries to two occupants. The Investigation concluded that the isolated and rapidly developing cell had not been detected because of crew failure to make proper use of their weather radar, but noted that activation of flight envelope protection and subsequent crew action to recover control had been appropriate.
A332, en-route, North Atlantic Ocean, 2001 On 24 August 2001, an Air Transat Airbus A330-200 eastbound across the North Atlantic at night experienced a double-engine flameout after which Lajes on Terceira Island in the Azores was identified as the best diversion and a successful glide approach and landing there was subsequently achieved. The Investigation found that the flameouts had been the result of fuel exhaustion after a fuel leak from the right engine caused by a pre flight maintenance error. Fuel exhaustion was found to have occurred because the flight crew did not perform the QRH procedure applicable to an in-flight fuel leak.
A332, en-route, North Atlantic, 2019 On 6 February 2019, an Airbus A330-200 Captain’s Audio Control Panel (ACP) malfunctioned and began to emit smoke and electrical fumes after coffee was spilt on it. Subsequently, the right side ACP also failed, becoming hot enough to begin melting its plastic. Given the consequent significant communications difficulties, a turnback to Shannon was with both pilots taking turns to go on oxygen. The Investigation found that flight deck drinks were routinely served in unlidded cups with the cup size in use incompatible with the available cup holders. Pending provision of suitably-sized cups, the operator decided to begin providing cup lids.
A332, Jakarta Indonesia, 2013 On 13 December 2013, an Airbus A330 encountered very heavy rain below 100 feet agl just after the autopilot had been disconnected for landing off an ILS approach at Jakarta. The aircraft Commander, as pilot flying, lost visual reference but the monitoring First Officer did not. A go around was neither called nor flown and after drifting in the flare, the aircraft touched down with the right main landing gear on the grass and continued like this for 500 metres before regaining the runway. The Investigation noted that prevailing SOPs clearly required that a go around should have been flown.
A332, Karachi Pakistan, 2014 On 4 October 2014, the fracture of a hydraulic hose during an A330-200 pushback at night at Karachi was followed by dense fumes in the form of hydraulic fluid mist filling the aircraft cabin and flight deck. After some delay, during which a delay in isolating the APU air bleed exacerbated the ingress of fumes, the aircraft was towed back onto stand and an emergency evacuation completed. During the return to stand, a PBE unit malfunctioned and caught fire when one of the cabin crew attempted to use it which prevented use of the exit adjacent to it for evacuation.
A332, Montego Bay Jamaica, 2008 On 28 October 2008, an Airbus A330-200 could not be rotated for liftoff whist making a night takeoff from Montego Bay until the Captain had increased the reduced thrust set to TOGA, after which the aircraft became airborne prior to the end of the runway and climbed away normally. The Investigation found that the takeoff performance data used had been calculated for the flight by Company Despatch and the fact that it had been based on a takeoff weight which was 90 tonnes below the actual take off weight had not been noticed by any of the flight crew.
A332, Perth WA Australia, 2014 On 26 November 2014, an Airbus A330-200 was struck by lightning just after arriving at its allocated stand following a one hour post-landing delay after suspension of ramp operations due to an overhead thunderstorm. Adjacent ground services operatives were subject to electrical discharge from the strike and one who was connected to the aircraft flight deck intercom was rendered unconscious. The Investigation found that the equipment and procedures for mitigation of risk from lightning strikes were not wholly effective and also that perceived operational pressure had contributed to a resumption of ground operations which hindsight indicated had been premature.
A332, Sydney Australia 2009 On 4 July 2009, an Airbus A332 being operated by Jetstar Airways on a scheduled passenger flight from Sydney to Melbourne carried a 750 kg ULD which had been expressly rejected by the aircraft commander during the loading operation without flight crew awareness. There was no reported effect on aircraft handling during the flight.
A332, vicinity Brisbane Australia, 2013 On 21 November 2013, an A330 rejected its take off from Brisbane after an airspeed indication failure. Following maintenance intervention, a similar airspeed indication fault on the subsequent departure was reported to have been detected after V1. Once airborne, reversion to Alternate Law occurred and slat retraction failed. After an air turnback, it was discovered that the cause of both events was blockage of the No. 1 Pitot Head by a mud-dauber wasp nest which was created during the initial two hour turnround at Brisbane. Investigation of a 2014 event to a Boeing 737 at Brisbane with exactly the same causation was noted.
A332, vicinity Melbourne Australia, 2013 On 8 March 2013, the crew of a Qantas A330 descended below controlled airspace and to 600 feet agl when still 9nm from the landing runway at Melbourne in day VMC after mismanaging a visual approach flown with the AP engaged. An EGWS Terrain Alert was followed by an EGPWS PULL UP Warning and a full recovery manoeuvre was flown. The Investigation found degraded situational awareness had followed inappropriate use of Flight Management System
A332, vicinity Perth Australia, 2014 On 9 June 2014, a 'burning odour' of undetermined origin became evident in the rear galley of an Airbus A330 as soon as the aircraft powered up for take off. Initially, it was dismissed as not uncommon and likely to soon dissipate, but it continued and affected cabin crew were unable to continue their normal duties and received oxygen to assist recovery. En route diversion was considered but flight completion chosen. It was found that the rear pressure bulkhead insulation had not been correctly refitted following maintenance and had collapsed into and came into contact with APU bleed air duct.
A332, vicinity Tripoli Libya, 2010 On 12 May 2010, an Afriqiyah Airways Airbus A330 making a daylight go around from a non precision approach at Tripoli which had been discontinued after visual reference was not obtained at MDA did not sustain the initially established IMC climb and, following flight crew control inputs attributed to the effects of somatogravic illusion and poor CRM, descended rapidly into the ground with a high vertical and forward speed, The aircraft was destroyed by impact forces and the consequent fire and all but one of the 104 occupants were killed.
A332/A345, Khartoum Sudan, 2010 On 30 September 2010, an A330-200 was about to take off from Khartoum at night in accordance with its clearance when signalling from a hand-held flashlight and a radio call from another aircraft led to this not taking place. The other (on-stand) aircraft crew had found that they had been hit by the A330 as it had taxied past en route to the runway. The Investigation found that although there was local awareness that taxiway use and the provision of surface markings at Khartoum did not ensure safe clearance between aircraft, this was not being communicated by NOTAM or ATIS.
A332/B738, vicinity Amsterdam Netherlands, 2012 On 13 November 2012, a Garuda Airbus A330 and a KLM Boeing 737 lost separation against each other whilst correctly following radar vectors to parallel approaches at Amsterdam but there was no actual risk of collision as each aircraft had the other in sight and no TCAS RA occurred. The Investigation found that one of the controllers involved had used permitted discretion to override normal procedures during a short period of quiet traffic but had failed to restore normal procedures when it became necessary to do so, thus creating the conflict and the ANSP was recommended to review their procedures.
A333 / A319, en-route, east of Lashio Myanmar, 2017 On 3 May 2017, an Airbus A330 and an Airbus A319 lost prescribed separation whilst tracking in opposite directions on a radar-controlled ATS route in eastern Myanmar close to the Chinese border. The Investigation found that the response of the A330 crew to a call for another aircraft went undetected and they descended to the same level as the A319 with the lost separation only being mitigated by intervention from the neighbouring Chinese ACC which was able to give the A319 an avoiding action turn. At the time of the conflict, the A330 had disappeared from the controlling ACCs radar.
A333 / A333, Narita International Japan, 2017 On 14 February 2017, an Airbus A330-300 preparing to depart Narita entered the active runway at night without clearance as another Airbus A330-300 was approaching the same runway with a landing clearance. ATC observed the conflict after an alert was activated on the surface display system and instructed the approaching aircraft, which was passing approximately 400 feet and had not observed the incursion, to go around. The Investigation attributed the departing aircraft crew’s failure to comply with their clearance to distraction and noted that the stop bar lighting system was not in use because procedures restricted its use to low visibility conditions.
A333, Chicago O'Hare IL USA, 2013 On 5 March 2013, the aft-stationed cabin crew of an Airbus A330-300 being operated by Lufthansa on a scheduled international passenger flight from Chicago O'Hare to Munich advised the flight crew after the night normal visibility take-off that they had heard an unusual noise during take-off. Noting that nothing unusual had been heard in the flight deck and that there were no indications of any abnormal system status, the Captain decided, after consulting Company maintenance, that the flight should be completed as planned. The flight proceeded uneventfully but on arrival in Munich, it became clear that the aircraft had sustained substantial damage due to a tail strike on take-off and was unfit for flight.
A333, en-route, Kota Kinabalu Malaysia, 2009 On 22 June 2009, an Airbus A330-300 being operated by Qantas on a scheduled passenger flight from Hong Kong to Perth encountered an area of severe convective turbulence in night IMC in the cruise at FL380 and 10 of the 209 occupants sustained minor injuries and the aircraft suffered minor internal damage. The injuries were confined to passengers and crew who were not seated at the time of the incident. After consultations with ground medical experts, the aircraft commander determined that the best course of action was to complete the flight as planned, and this was uneventful.
A333, en-route, near Bournemouth UK, 2012 On 16 April 2012, a Virgin Atlantic A330-300 made an air turnback to London Gatwick after repetitive hold smoke detector warnings began to occur during the climb. Continuing uncertainty about whether the warnings, which continued after landing, were false led to the decision to order an emergency evacuation on the runway. Subsequent investigation found that the smoke warnings had all been false and had mainly come from one faulty detector. It also found that aspects of the way the evacuation had taken place had indicated where there were opportunities to try and improve passenger behaviour.
A333, en-route, south of Moscow Russia, 2010 On 22 December 2010, a Finnair Airbus A330-300 inbound to Helsinki and cruising in very cold air at an altitude of 11,600 metres lost cabin pressurisation in cruise flight and completed an emergency descent before continuing the originally intended flight at a lower level. The subsequent Investigation was carried out together with that into a similar occurrence to another Finnair A330 which had occurred 11 days earlier. It was found that in both incidents, both engine bleed air systems had failed to function normally because of a design fault which had allowed water within their pressure transducers to freeze.
A333, en-route, southeast of Alice Springs Australia, 2016 On 16 August 2016, an Airbus A330-300 right engine failed just over two hours into a flight from Sydney to Kuala Lumpur. It was eventually shut down after two compressor stalls and increased vibration had followed ‘exploratory’ selection of increased thrust. A ‘PAN’ declaration was followed by diversion to Melbourne, during which two relight attempts were made, in preference to other nearer alternates without further event. The Investigation found that delayed shutdown and the relight attempts were contrary to applicable procedures and the failure to divert to the nearest suitable airport had extended the time in an elevated risk environment.
A333, en-route, southern Myanmar, 2013 On 22 April 2013, a lower deck smoke warning occurred on an Airbus A330-300 almost 90 minutes into the cruise and over land. The warning remained on after the prescribed crew response and after an uneventful MAYDAY diversion was completed, the hold was found to be full of smoke and fire eventually broke out after all occupants had left the aircraft. The Investigation was unable to determine the fire origin but noted the success of the fire suppression system whilst the aircraft remained airborne and issues relating to the post landing response, especially communications with the fire service.
A333, en-route, west northwest of Sydney Australia, 2019 On 15 December 2019, an Airbus A330-200 turned back to Sydney shortly after departure when a major hydraulic system leak was annunciated. The return was uneventful until engine shutdown after clearing the runway following which APU use for air conditioning was followed by a gradual build up of hydraulic haze and fumes which eventually prompted an emergency evacuation. The Investigation found that fluid leaking from ruptured rudder servo hose had entered the APU air intake. The resulting evacuation was found to have been somewhat disorganised with this being attributed mainly to a combination of inadequate cabin crew procedures and training.
A333, en-route, West of Learmonth Australia, 2008 On 7 October 2008, an Airbus A330-300 aircraft experienced multiple system failure indications followed by uncommanded pitch-down events which resulted in serious injuries to passengers and cabin crew.
A333, Hong Kong China, 2010 On 13 April 2010, a Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 en route from Surabaya to Hong Kong experienced difficulty in controlling engine thrust. As these problems worsened, one engine became unusable and a PAN and then a MAYDAY were declared prior to a successful landing at destination with excessive speed after control of thrust from the remaining engine became impossible. Emergency evacuation followed after reports of a landing gear fire. Salt water contamination of the hydrant fuel system at Surabaya after alterations during airport construction work was found to have led to the appearance of a polymer contaminant in uplifted fuel.
A333, Kathmandu Nepal, 2015 On 4 March 2015, the crew of a Turkish Airlines A333 continued an automatic non precision RNAV approach below the prescribed minimum descent altitude without having obtained any element of visual reference and when this was acquired a few seconds before the attempted landing, the aircraft was not aligned with the runway centreline and during a 2.7g low-pitch landing, the left main gear touched down on the grass. The aircraft then left the runway completely before stopping with a collapsed nose gear and sufficient damage to be assessed a hull loss. None of 235 occupants sustained serious injury.
A333, London Heathrow UK, 2016 On 26 June 2016, thick white smoke suddenly appeared in the cabin of a fully loaded Airbus A330-300 prior to engine start with the door used for boarding still connected to the air bridge. An emergency evacuation initiated by cabin crew was accomplished without injury although amidst some confusion due to a brief conflict between flight crew and cabin crew instructions. The Investigation found that the smoke had been caused when an APU seal failed and hot oil entered the bleed air supply and pyrolysed. Safety Recommendations in respect of both crew communication and procedures and APU auto-shutdown were made.
A333, Manila Philippines, 2013 On 7 October 2013 a fire was discovered in the rear hold of an Airbus A330 shortly after it had arrived at its parking stand after an international passenger flight. The fire was eventually extinguished but only after substantial fire damage had been caused to the hold. The subsequent Investigation found that the actions of the flight crew, ground crew and airport fire service following the discovery of the fire had all been unsatisfactory. It also established that the source of the fire had been inadequately packed dangerous goods in passengers checked baggage on the just-completed flight.
A333, Medan Indonesia, 2020 On 15 September 2020, an Airbus A330-300 touched down at Medan partially off the runway as a result of misjudgement by the right seat handling pilot before regaining it and completing the landing roll. The aircraft and some runway lights were damaged. The handling pilot was an A320/A330 dual-rated Instructor Pilot conducting standardisation training on a new Captain who had not flown for 7½ months having himself not flown from the right seat for six months. The continuing Investigation has recommended that the State Safety Regulator issues guidance in support of its temporary alleviations to pilot recency requirements.
A333, Montréal QC Canada, 2014 On 7 October 2014, an Airbus A330-300 failed to maintain the runway centreline as it touched down at Montréal in suddenly reduced forward visibility and part of the left main gear departed the runway edge, paralleling it briefly before returning to it and regaining the centreline as the landing roll was completed. The Investigation attributed the excursion to a delay in corrective action when a sudden change in wind velocity occurred at the same time as degraded visual reference. It was found that the runway should not have been in use in such poor visibility without serviceable lighting.
A333, Port Harcourt Nigeria, 2019 On 31 December 2019, an Airbus A330-300 flew a night ILS approach to land on the 60 metre wide runway at Port Harcourt in undemanding weather conditions but became unstabilised just before touchdown when the handling pilot made unnecessary and opposite aileron and rudder inputs for which no explanation was found. Because of this, a late touchdown on the right hand edge of the runway was followed by the right main gear leaving the runway and travelling along the hard shoulder parallel to it for just over 1000 metres before regaining it which caused runway lighting and minor aircraft damage.
A333, St Lucia Eastern Caribbean, 2013 On 25 December 2013, an Airbus A330-300 conducted a stable night non-precision approach at St. Lucia but the crew found that after touchdown, atypical intervention was needed to ensure direction along the runway was maintained and also detected both ‘juddering’ and a more significant rate of deceleration than usual. Considerable impact damage to the lower fuselage and below-floor systems was subsequently discovered. The Investigation concluded that this damage had resulted from impact with water from a diverted river channel which had burst its banks and flooded the touchdown area of the runway to a depth of up to 60 cm.
A333, Sydney Australia, 2017 On 17 December 2017, it was discovered after completion of an Airbus A330-300 passenger flight from Sydney to Bejing that freight loading had not been correctly documented on the load and trim sheet presented to and accepted by the Captain and as a result, the aircraft had exceeded its certified MTOW on departure. The Investigation found that the overload finding had not been promptly reported or its safety significance appreciated, that the error had its origin in related verbal communications during loading and noted that the aircraft operator had since made a series of improvements to its freight loading procedures.
A333, vicinity Atlanta GA USA, 2018 On 18 April 2018, an engine fire warning was annunciated on an Airbus 330-300 which had just taken off from Atlanta. The warning remained after engine shutdown but was eventually replaced by a fire detection caution. Although not visible to the crew, a continued/reignited engine fire was subsequently seen by ATC on final approach and extinguished after landing. The Investigation concluded that the avoidable delay in the return to land had considerably increased the engine and pylon damage and noted that continuation of the fire had been facilitated by hydraulic fluid passing through a valve held partly open by debris.
A333, vicinity Brisbane Australia, 2018 On 18 July 2018, an Airbus A330-300 failed to reject its night takeoff from Brisbane despite the absence of any airspeed indication for either pilot. A PAN call was made as a climb to FL110 continued. Once there, preparations for a somewhat challenging return were made and subsequently achieved. The Investigation noted multiple missed opportunities, including non-compliance with several procedural requirements, to detect that all pitot mast covers had remained in place and was extremely concerned that the takeoff had been continued rather than rejected. Flawed aircraft operator ground handling procedures and ineffective oversight of contractors were also deemed contributory.
A333, vicinity Gold Coast Queensland Australia, 2017 On 3 July 2017, an Airbus A330-300 was climbing through 2,300 feet after a night takeoff from Gold Coast when the number 2 engine began to malfunction. As a cabin report of fire in the same engine was received, it failed and a diversion to Brisbane was made. The Investigation found that the engine failure was entirely attributable to the ingestion of a single medium-sized bird well within engine certification requirements. It was concluded that the failure was the result of a sufficiently rare combination of circumstances that it would be extremely unlikely for multiple engines to be affected simultaneously.
A333, vicinity Orlando FL USA, 2013 On 19 January 2013, a Rolls Royce Trent 700-powered Virgin Atlantic Airbus A330-300 hit some medium sized birds shortly after take off from Orlando, sustaining airframe impact damage and ingesting one bird into each engine. Damage was subsequently found to both engines although only one indicated sufficient malfunction - a complete loss of oil pressure - for an in-flight shutdown to be required. After declaration of a MAYDAY, the return to land overweight was completed uneventfully. The investigation identified an issue with the response of the oil pressure detection and display system to high engine vibration events and recommended modification.
A333, vicinity Wom Guam Airport, Guam, 2002 On 16 December 2002, approximately 1735 UTC, an Airbus A330-330, operating as Philippine Airlines flight 110, struck power lines while executing a localizer-only Instrument Landing System (ILS) approach to runway 6L at A.B. Pat Won Guam International Airport, Agana, Guam. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed during the approach. Following a ground proximity warning system (GPWS) alert, the crew executed a missed approach and landed successfully after a second approach to the airport.
A333, Yangon Myanmar, 2019 On 25 November 2019, an Airbus A330-300 being used for type conversion line training was involved in a landing tailstrike at Yangon during the trainee senior Captain’s first line training flight in benign daylight conditions. The Investigation noted that the optional tailstrike prevention system was not installed on the aircraft involved and found that the operator’s standard calls for excessive pitch during landing had not been made, that the trainee had misinterpreted the Training Captain’s pitch attitude guidance during the landing and that the Training Captain was only used to having to take over control when working with junior pilots.
A333, Zurich Switzerland, 2020 On 26 February 2020, an Airbus A330-300 tailstrike occurred during rotation for takeoff from Zurich and was not detected by the crew who completed the planned 7½ hour flight to Nairobi before learning that the aircraft was not airworthy as a result. The Investigation concluded that the tailstrike had been the direct result of the crew’s use of inappropriate inputs to their takeoff performance calculation on the variable headwind encountered during the takeoff and noted a very similar event had previously occurred to the same aircraft type operated by an airline within the same overall ownership.
A342, Perth Australia, 2005 On 24 April 2005, an Airbus A340-200 landed short of the temporarily displaced runway threshold at Perth in good daylight visibility despite their prior awareness that there was such a displacement. The Investigation concluded that the crew had failed to correctly identify the applicable threshold markings because the markings provided were insufficiently clear to them and probably also because of the inappropriately low intensity setting of the temporary PAPI. No other Serious Incidents were reported during the same period of runway works.
A343 / B744, en-route, south of Newfoundland Canada, 1998 On 20 July 1998, after an ATC error south of Newfoundland, an Air France A340 and an Air Canada 747-400 were on directly converging tracks and at the same level. Collision was avoided by the correct actioning of coordinated TCAS RAs by both aircraft.
A343 / B744, London Heathrow UK, 2007 On 15 October 2007, an Airbus 340-300 being operated on a scheduled passenger flight by Air Lanka with a heavy crew in the flight deck was taxiing towards the departure runway at London Heathrow at night in normal visibility when the right wing tip hit and sheared off the left hand winglet of a stationary British Airways Boeing 747-400 which was in a queue on an adjacent taxiway. The Airbus 340 sustained only minor damage to the right winglet and navigation light.
A343 / B752, London Heathrow UK, 1995 On 23 November 1995, in normal daylight visibility, an Airbus A340-300 being operated by Gulf Air on a scheduled international passenger flight from London Heathrow taxied past a Boeing 757-200 being operated by British Airways on a scheduled domestic passenger flight and also departing from London Heathrow which had stopped on a diverging taxiway within the departure holding area for Runway 27R such that the wing tip of the Airbus impacted the tail fin of other aircraft. Two of the 378 occupants of the two aircraft suffered minor injuries and both aircraft were damaged. Passengers were deplaned uneventfully from both aircraft.
A343 / B763, Barcelona Spain, 2014 On 5 July 2014, an Airbus A340-300 taxiing for departure at Barcelona was cleared across an active runway in front of an approaching Boeing 767 with landing clearance on the same runway by a Ground Controller unaware that the runway was active. Sighting by both aircraft resulted in an accelerated crossing and a very low go around. The Investigation noted the twice-daily runway configuration change made due to noise abatement reasons was imminent. It was also noted that airport procedure involved use of stop bars even on inactive runways and that their operation was then the responsibility of ground controllers.
A343 / GLID, en-route, north of Waldshut-Tiengen southwest Germany, 2012 On 11 August 2012, the augmenting crew member in the flight deck of an Airbus A340 about to join final approach to Zurich in Class 'C' airspace as cleared suddenly saw a glider on a collision course with the aircraft. The operating crew were alerted and immediately executed a pronounced avoiding manoeuvre and the two aircraft passed at approximately the same level with approximately 260 metres separation. The Investigation attributed the conflict to airspace incursion by the glider and issue of a clearance to below MRVA to the A340 and noted the absence of relevant safety nets.
A343 / RJ1H, Copenhagen Denmark, 2016 On 26 December 2016, the wing of an Airbus A340-300 being repositioned by towing at Copenhagen as cleared hit an Avro RJ100 which had stopped short of its stand when taxiing due to the absence of the expected ground crew. The RJ100 had been there for twelve minutes at the time of the collision. The Investigation attributed the collision to differing expectations of the tug driver, the Apron controller and the RJ100 flight crew within an overall context of complacency on the part of the tug driver whilst carrying out what would have been regarded as a routine, non-stressful task.
A343, Anchorage AK USA, 2002 On 25 January 2002, in VMC at night, an Airbus A340-300 being operated by China Airlines successfully took-off from a parallel taxiway adjacent to the departure runway at Anchorage Alaska which was of less length than the calculated airplane take-off distance required.
A343, Auckland New Zealand, 2013 On 18 May 2013 an Airbus A340 with the Captain acting as 'Pilot Flying' commenced its night take off from Auckland in good visibility on a fully lit runway without the crew recognising that it was lined up with the runway edge. After continuing ahead for approximately 1400 metres, the aircraft track was corrected and the take off completed. The incident was not reported to ATC and debris on the runway from broken edge lights was not discovered until a routine inspection almost three hours later. The Investigation concluded that following flights were put at risk by the failure to report.
A343, Bogota Colombia, 2017 On 11 March 2017, contrary to crew expectations based on their pre-flight takeoff performance calculation, an Airbus 340-300 taking off from the 3,800 metre-long at Bogata only became airborne just before the end of the runway. The Investigation found that the immediate reason for this was the inadequate rate of rotation achieved by the Training Captain performing the takeoff. However, it was also found that the operator’s average A340-300 rotation rate was less than would be achieved using handling recommendations which themselves would not achieve the expected performance produced by the Airbus takeoff performance software that reflected type certification findings.
A343, Bogotá Colombia, 2017 (2) On 19 August 2017, an Airbus A340-300 encountered significant unforecast windshear on rotation for a maximum weight rated-thrust night takeoff from Bogotá and was unable to begin its climb for a further 800 metres during which angle of attack flight envelope protection was briefly activated. The Investigation noted the absence of a windshear detection system and any data on the prevalence of windshear at the airport as well as the failure of ATC to relay in English reports of conditions from departing aircraft received in Spanish. The aircraft operator subsequently elected to restrict maximum permitted takeoff weights from the airport.
A343, Changi Singapore, 2007 On 30 May 2007, at about 0555 hours local time, the crew of an Airbus A340-300 had to apply (Take-off Go Around) power and rotate abruptly at a high rate to become airborne while taking off from Runway 20C at Singapore Changi Airport, when they noticed the centreline lights were indicating the impending end of the available runway. The crew had calculated the take-off performance based on the full TORA (Take-off Run Available) of 4,000 m because they were unaware of the temporary shortening of Runway 20C to 2,500 m due to resurfacing works.
A343, en-route, mid North Atlantic Ocean, 2011 On 22 July 2011 an Air France A340-300 en route over the North Atlantic at FL350 in night IMC encountered moderate turbulence following "inappropriate use of the weather radar" which led to an overspeed annunciation followed by the aircraft abruptly pitching up and gaining over 3000 feet in less than a minute before control was regained and it was returned to the cleared level. The Investigation concluded that "the incident was due to inadequate monitoring of the flight parameters, which led to the failure to notice AP disengagement and the level bust, following a reflex action on the controls.”
A343, Frankfurt Germany, 2008 On 21 August 2008, an Airbus A340-300 being operated by an undisclosed operator by a German-licensed flight crew on a scheduled passenger flight from Teheran to Frankfurt collided with a stationary bus with only the driver on board whilst approaching the allocated parking gate in normal daylight visibility. The No 4 engine impacted the bus roof as shown in the photograph below reproduced from the official report. None of the occupants of either the aircraft or the bus were injured.
A343, Helsinki Finland, 2009 On 22 June 2009, an Airbus A340-300 being operated by Finnair suffered a single tyre failure during take off on a scheduled passenger flight to Helsinki and malfunction assessed as consequential by the flight crew occurred to the hydraulic system. The flight proceeded to destination and carried out a daylight landing there in normal visibility without any further aircraft damage. Because of a further deterioration in the status of the aircraft hydraulic systems during the landing roll, the aircraft was stopped on the runway and then towed into the gate. No persons were injured in this incident.
A343, Hong Kong China, 2010 On 27 November 2010, a Finnair Airbus A340-300 unintentionally attempted a night take off from Hong Kong in good visibility from the taxiway parallel to the runway for which take off clearance had been given. ATC observed the error and instructed the crew to abandon the take off, which they then did. The Investigation attributed the crew error partly to distraction. It was considered that the crew had become distracted and that supporting procedures and process at the Operator were inadequate.
A343, London Heathrow, UK 2012 On 5 February 2012, an Airbus A340-300 started its takeoff from an intermediate point on the runway for which no regulated takeoff weight information was available and had only become airborne very close to the end of the runway and then climbed only very slowly. The Investigation found that as the full length of the planned departure runway was not temporarily unavailable, ATC had offered either the intersection subsequently used or the full length of the available parallel runway and that despite the absence of valid performance data for the intersection, the intersection had been used.
A343, Nairobi Kenya, 2008 On 27 April 2008 an Airbus A340-300 crew lost previously-acquired visual reference in fog on a night auto ILS into Nairobi but continued to a touchdown which occurred with the aircraft heading towards the edge of the runway following an inappropriate rudder input. The left main gear departed the paved surface and a go around was initiated and a diversion made. The event was attributed to a delay in commencing the go around. No measured RVR from any source was passed by ATC although it was subsequently found to have been recorded as I excess of Cat 1 limits throughout.
A343, Rio de Janeiro Galeão Brazil, 2011 On 8 December 2011, an Airbus A340-300 did not become airborne until it had passed the end of the takeoff runway at Rio de Janeiro Galeão, which was reduced in length due to maintenance. The crew were unaware of this fact nor the consequent approach lighting, ILS antennae and aircraft damage, and completed their intercontinental flight. The Investigation found that the crew had failed to use the full available runway length despite relevant ATIS and NOTAM information and that even using rated thrust from where they began their takeoff, they would not have become airborne before the end of the runway.
A343, Tabriz Iran, 2013 On 18 April 2013, an Airbus A340-300 was unintentionally taxied off the side of the runway during a 180° turn after backtracking the departure runway at Tabriz at night. The Investigation found that the prevailing wet runway conditions meant that the runway width alone was insufficient for the turn and full advantage had not been taken of a wide taxiway at the runway displaced threshold. It was also found that the technique used to turn had not been optimum and that the runway involved was for daylight use only and had a strength rating not compatible with A340 use.
A343, Toronto Canada, 2005 On 2 August 2005, an Airbus A340-300 attempted a daylight landing at Toronto on a rain-soaked runway during an active thunderstorm and overran for 300 metres ending up in a ravine from where, despite its destruction by an intense post crash fire, all 309 occupants escaped. The Investigation recommendations focused mainly on improving crew decision making in adverse weather conditions and issues related to the consequences of such an overrun on survivability, the latter including one for a 300 metre RESA requirement to be implemented.
A343, vicinity Paris CDG France, 2012 On 13 March 2012, an A340-300 crew cleared for a Cat 3 ILS approach at Paris CDG with LVP in force failed to descend at a rate which would allow the aircraft to capture the ILS GS and at 2nm from the runway, when still 2500 feet above runway height, the ILS GS mode engaged on a false upper lobe of about 10° and as a result of the consequent rapid pitch up and speed reduction, aircraft control was almost lost. After a period of further confusion, a go around was initiated and the subsequent approach was uneventful.