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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 200652
Last updated: 21 September 2021
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Time:17:41 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic A319 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Airbus A319-132
Registration: D-AGWB
MSN: 2833
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants:
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: None
Category:Serious incident
Location:near Stuttgart-Echterdingen Airport (STR/EDDS) -   Germany
Phase: En route
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Stuttgart-Echterdingen Airport (STR/EDDS)
Destination airport:London-Heathrow Airport (LHR/EGLL)
Investigating agency: BFU Germany
Germanwings flight 4U2464, an Airbus A319, was involved in an airprox incident shortly after takeoff from Stuttgart-Echterdingen Airport, Germany. The crew had to respond to a TCAS RA to avoid an Aerospool WT-9 Dynamic ultralight (D-MTNR).
The pilot of the Aerospool WT-9 Dynamic made radio contact with the Tower controller at Stuttgart Airport at about 17:34 and asked for a flight across the airport. According to the pilot, the ultralight aircraft was at an altitude of 3,300 ft AMSL at the time of entry into the control zone. The Tower controller cleared the entrance and overflight, saying:"[...] free to enter the control zone[...] then you fly to a position about a mile south of the airport and I'll call you back to cross."
The pilot of the ultralight answered at 17:38:"[...] fly a mile south of the uh airport, and I'll call you back to cross."
At 17:39 the flight crew of the Airbus A319 made radio contact with the Tower controller and received approval to taxy onto runway 07.
The tower controller gave the ultralight pilot a note at 17:40:20:"[...] Airbus A319 in Germanwings colours, is standing at the beginning of runway zero seven, report traffic in sight." The ultralight pilot replied, "Airbus in sight."
At 17:40:32 the controller gave the ultralight pilot permission to cross the airport after the take-off of the Airbus A319.
At 17:40:41, the tower controller gave the A319 crew the clearance to take off on runway 07, which was confirmed.
According to the captain, the flight crew had the ultralight aircraft in sight during the climb. They watched as it moved into their flight path north of them.
The Tower controller asked the pilot of the ultralight aircraft at 17:41:06 whether he had the starting Airbus in sight. The pilot answered, "[...] positive."
Then the tower controller added: "[...] as I said, it might pull up steeply, so please cross behind it." The ultralight pilot confirmed at 17:41:18: "[...] understood, wilco."
Four seconds later, the tower controller said, "[...] turn to the right once and then cross, it's not going to work." The UL pilot's answer was, "[...] turn to the right."
At 17:41:40, the controller gave the A319 traffic information on the ultralight flying in the departure sector: "[...] traffic is one o'clock half a mile thousand feet in right turn to avoid." The captain replied that they had the traffic in sight.
At 17:41:53 the Tower controller radioed:"[...] it's not going to work, now, uh, fly accelerated to the north." The ultralight pilot replied,"[...] we're heading north."
At 17:41:56, at a height of approximately 1,200 ft above ground (Radio Altitude), the Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) of the Airbus A319 generated the command (Resolution Advisory/RA) to descend. The co-pilot was the Pilot Flying and started the descent at 17:42:05. The resulting sink rate was described by the captain as -1,600 ft/min. Shortly afterward, the Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS) generated the warning: "Don't sink, Don't sink". The captain decided that the TCAS command had to be followed up to a height of 400 ft above ground and had this priority.
At this time, according to the PIC, there was a lot of radio traffic on the tower radio frequency, so that he was unable to transmit a "TCAS Resolution" radio message.
In response to the tower controller's question at 17:42:07:"[...] traffic is now finally away confirm you can continue climb?" the A319's PIC replied,"[...] TCAS RA." During the radio message, the EGPW system's instruction: "Don't sink, Don't sink" was heard twice in the background.
Around 17:42:14 the TCAS advisory "Clear of conflict" was generated. The captain reported the "Clear of Conflict" status to the tower controller. During the descent, the A319 lost approximately 300 ft altitude. Then the climb continued. The ultralight aircraft moved further north.
Minimum separation was 600 feet (183 m) vertical, 0,213 NM (395 m) horizontal.

BFU Conclusions:
The approach of both aircraft in the departure sector of Stuttgart Airport was due to the fact that the radio instructions of the tower controller were not followed despite confirmation from the UL pilot.
The Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning was consciously accepted by the crew of the A319 during the evasive maneuver.


Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: BFU Germany
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 years and 7 months
Download report: Final report


Photo of D-AGWB courtesy

London - Heathrow (EGLL / LHR)
3 January 2020; (c) Paul Seymour

Flight track of the Aerospool WT9 (green) and A319.

Revision history:

28-Oct-2017 12:55 harro Added
28-Oct-2017 13:00 harro Updated [Photo, ]
28-Oct-2017 13:00 harro Updated [Photo, ]
16-Feb-2020 18:27 harro Updated [Narrative, Accident report, ]

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