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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 240335
Last updated: 4 September 2021
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Time:12:05 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic A320 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Airbus A320-216
Registration: EC-KLT
MSN: 3376
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 195
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: None
Category:Serious incident
Location:Birmingham International Airport, Elmdon, Birmingham -   United Kingdom
Phase: Approach
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Barcelona-El Prat Josep Tarradellas Airport (BCN/LEBL)
Destination airport:Birmingham International Airport (BHX/EGBB)
Investigating agency: AAIB
After an uneventful flight from Barcelona, VY8752 positioned for an RNAV approach to runway 33 at Birmingham Airport, U.K.. Both pilots were experienced on the aircraft and the co-pilot was acting as the handling pilot. The weather at the time was good with light winds reported and no cloud below 5,000 ft agl.

The aircraft was at 4,000 ft approximately 11 nm south of the airport when ATC cleared it to descend to 2,000 ft and carry out the RNAV approach. The pilots read back the clearance correctly but, thirty seconds later, the aircraft had not changed altitude and they contacted ATC to request descent. ATC again cleared the aircraft to descend to 2,000 ft and to carry out the approach. The aircraft was 10.5 nm from the runway when it started descending. At 9.4 nm it was at 3,800 ft, 1,000 ft above the correct profile. When the aircraft was 3 nm from the runway, ATC cleared it to land, at which point the aircraft was at 2,000 ft, 660 ft above the correct profile. The pilots continued the approach, but at about 0.3 nm from the threshold and at 470 ft, they announced they were going around.

ATC cleared the aircraft to climb to 4,000 ft and gave radar vectors for a further approach. Shortly after the aircraft began climbing, the commander took over as handling pilot and informed ATC that the crew had experienced a navigation problem on their initial approach, requesting a localiser/DME approach for the second approach. ATC accepted the request and provided radar vectors to position the aircraft to commence the approach. When the aircraft was on base leg, ATC cleared it to descend to 2,000 ft, but the crew mistakenly read back the clearance to descend only to 3,000 ft. This mistake was missed by ATC and was not corrected.

The aircraft descended to 3,000 ft whilst positioning to establish on the localiser, during which it was given further clearance to descend with the approach. When the aircraft began its final descent from 3,000 ft it was about 7 nm from the runway and crossed the final descent point, 5.1 nm from the runway and 200 ft above the correct profile altitude.

Initially the crew continued the approach, but then informed ATC they were too high and requested a left turn. In response, ATC instructed the crew to turn left onto a heading of 240 and to climb to 4,000 ft. The crew commenced the turn 2.5 nm from the runway, descending through 1,900 ft. At the same time, they selected a climb to 4,000 ft using the open climb mode, leaving the landing gear down and full flaps set. They did not select the toga thrust mode appropriate for a standard go-around manoeuvre. This caused the aircraft to pitch up to about 10 nose-up.

The aircraft began to decelerate, and the crew changed to the vertical speed mode, reducing pitch to about 1 nose-up. However, the aircraft entered the alpha floor protection mode, automatically setting toga thrust and causing the speed to increase.

The commander then set the thrust levers to prevent the aircraft exceeding the full flap limiting speed. With pitch reducing, the aircraft continued to descend and ATC again instructed the crew to climb. The crew selected a climb of about 900 ft/min still using the vertical speed mode and the aircraft, having descended to 1,300 ft (about 940 ft agl),then started to climb. The aircraft climbed to 4,000 ft and ATC gave further vectors for another localiser/DME approach. The aircraft then landed without incident.


1. AAIB Final Report:

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: AAIB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 12 months
Download report: Final report


Airbus A320-216 EC-KLT Vueling Airline approaching London Heathrow 31 March 2012: Airbus A320-216 EC-KLT Vueling Airlines


Photo of EC-KLT courtesy

Amsterdam - Schiphol (EHAM / AMS)
25 November 2019; (c) Gerard Helmer

Revision history:

21-Aug-2020 19:06 harro Added
21-Aug-2020 19:07 harro Updated [Country, Accident report, ]
16-Oct-2020 23:28 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Source, Embed code, Narrative, Accident report]
16-Oct-2020 23:28 Dr. John Smith Updated [Embed code, Narrative]

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