Narrative:JetBlue Flight 292 departed Burbank (BUR) at 15:31 as a non-stop to New York-JFK Airport. The first officer (FO) was the pilot flying. He noted no problems during the initial departure, and observed a positive rate of climb. After raising the gear, the flight crew noted an error message displayed on the Electric Centralized Aircraft Monitoring (ECAM) system. There was a fault (L/G SHOCK ABSORBER FAULT) message for a nose landing gear (NLG) shock absorber.
The landing gear was selected down again. The crew then received an error message of a fault for the nose wheel steering (WHEEL N/W STRG FAULT). There was no master warning so the FO continued flying the airplane while the captain troubleshot the ECAM system.
The FO flew the airplane over Palmdale, California, at 14,000 feet msl while the captain consulted the flight crew operating manual (FCOM) and maintenance control. The FCOM noted that the nose gear "may be caught at 90 degrees." The captain continued to evaluate the problem to ascertain the systems' status. The flight crew continually updated the cabin crew and passengers.
The flight diverted to Long Beach, California. The captain decided to perform a flyby of the tower for verification on the gear status. The tower, Jet Blue ground personnel, and a local news helicopter advised him that the nose gear was canted 90 degrees to the left. The captain stated that after discussing the situation with company representatives, he decided to divert to LAX because it had optimum field conditions, runway length, and a better emergency/abnormal support services. The crew flew for several hours to burn fuel so that they could land at a lighter weight.
The captain took note of the fuel burn to ensure that the center of gravity stayed within limits. The captain also advised the cabin crew that in the event that the nose gear collapsed, evacuation from the aft doors was not available so everyone would deplane from the forward exits. The flight crew advised the cabin crew to take the emergency procedures up to the point of egress, at which time the captain would advise the method.
Prior to touchdown, the captain announced "brace" and the flight attendants also transmitted "brace" over the public address system.
The captain flew the airplane for the landing. He touched down at 120 knots, and applied normal braking at 90 knots. He held the nose gear off of the ground as long as possible. At 60 knots, the flight crew shut down the engines. They did not use ground spoilers, reverse thrust, or auto braking. During the landing, the forward cabin crew could smell burnt rubber. The cabin crew remained at their stations as previously defined by the captain. The air traffic control tower confirmed that there was no fire, and the captain announced this to the cabin crew. After this notification, the passengers deplaned normally using an air stair.
Upon touchdown, the NLG tires rapidly deflated and tore apart, and both wheels were worn into the axle. During landing, the airplane's trajectory was not affected by the abnormal NLG configuration or subsequent tire destruction, and the airplane stayed on the runway centerline.
Maintenance personnel jacked the airplane up, and removed the damaged wheels. They installed a right nose wheel, and towed the airplane to a maintenance hangar.
PROBABLE CAUSE: "The fatigue failure of two anti-rotation lugs due to repeated cyclic pre-landing tests, which allowed the nosewheels to deviate from the 0-degree position on landing gear retraction. A contributing factor was the design of the Brake Steering Control Unit (BSCU) system logic, which prevented the nosewheels from centering. Also contributing was the lack of a procedure to attempt to reset the BSCU system under these conditions."
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 Burbank-Bob Hope Airport, CA to New York-John F. Kennedy International Airport, NY as the crow flies is 3932 km (2458 miles).