Narrative:Following a nighttime flight from Barcelona to Bilbao, the crew positioned the plane for a runway 30 approach and landing. During their final ILS approach, the aircraft encountered heavy turbulence at about 200 feet agl. with gusts up to 65 mph. The aircraft encountered windshear with 1.25G updraft, downdraft and a tailwind gust at just 70 feet agl. When the Ground Proximity Warning System (GPWS) sounded, the captain called for a go-around while pulling on the sidestick, reportedly without pressing his priority control button. The combination of dynamic winds and the crew actions created a situation that triggered the airplane's alpha protection system. As the crew applied TOGA power for a go-around, with both pilots pulling back on their sidesticks, the alpha protection law reduced the elevator nose-up command. Instead of a go- around, the aircraft struck the runway with a vertical speed of approx. 1,200 fpm. The nosegear collapsed and the aircraft skidded 3,280 feet (about 1000m) down the runway before coming to a stop.
|Date:||Wednesday 7 February 2001|
|C/n / msn:|| 1278|
|First flight:|| 2000|
|Total airframe hrs:||1149|
|Engines:|| 2 CFMI CFM56-5B4/P|
|Crew:||Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 7|
|Passengers:||Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 136|
|Total:||Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 143 |
|Airplane damage:|| Damaged beyond repair|
|Location:||Bilbao Airport (BIO) ( Spain)
|Phase:|| Landing (LDG)|
|Nature:||Domestic Scheduled Passenger|
|Departure airport:||Barcelona-El Prat Airport (BCN/LEBL), Spain|
|Destination airport:||Bilbao Airport (BIO/LEBB), Spain|
CAUSES: "The cause of the accident was the activation of the angle of attack protection system which, under a particular combination of vertical gusts and windshear and the simultaneous actions of both crew members on the sidesticks, not considered in the design, prevented the aeroplane from pitching up and flaring during the landing."
» Air Safety Week, Vol. 15, No. 25
Official accident investigation report
Follow-up / safety actions
This incident prompted Airbus to develop a modification to its flight control software. It will prevent the airplane's built-in protection against stall from being activated by a high rate of change in angle of attack. As an interim action, an AD was issued requiring A.320/A.319 operators to fly at least 10 knots faster and to use only a setting of "CONFIG 3" during approach with gusts higher than 10 knots or when moderate to severe turbulence is expected on short final.
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 Barcelona-El Prat Airport to Bilbao Airport as the crow flies is 464 km (290 miles).