The SATA Airbus A320 heavy landing and the subsequent flights

The graph below tells its own story about a heavy landing by a shiny new Airbus A320 of Azores-based carrier SATA on 4 August. The line literally goes off the chart, but an interim report just published in Portugese says that second impact goes up to 4.86g. Ouch.

SATA graph.JPGAt the time there was some suggestion that the aircraft subsequently flew more sectors without being properly inspected or repaired – and it now turns out that did in fact happen. Lots of pix of the damage below and you can consider for yourself whether it should have been picked up on the turnaround. More to the point, shouldn’t somebody have been able to decode the data once there was a suspicion of a heavy landing?

(Worth noting that there are now suggestions – absolutely unconfirmed at this stage – that this MAS 737 mystery gear collapse at the gate followed another heavy landing.)

The gist of the story is that there was a medium-heavy landing on the runway at Ponta Delgada, which registered 2.13g as you can see on the graph, followed by a bounce in part because the throttle ws not closed and so the spoilers did not deploy.

The throttle was then closed, the spoilers duly deployed, and the second impact was a whole lot worse. One way or another nobody managed to make sense of the load data and so the aircraft continued in service until the next scheduled A-check.

Here’s the landing gear, which doesn’t itself display much to worry about.

SATA gear.JPG



But a closer look reveals this.

SATA wing.JPG



Perhaps more significant is this tyre sidewall which you do think might have rung a few alarms.

SATA sidewall 1.JPG



Or this.

SATA sidewall 2.JPG



Easy in hindsight I know.

One Response to The SATA Airbus A320 heavy landing and the subsequent flights

  1. Jon October 17, 2009 at 6:40 am #

    It’s not the first time somebody’s screwed it up. There was the G-BKXD incident over in the UK, resulting in two emergency landings after a hard landing. The Airbus printed out a hard landing report, like it did in this case, and there, they performed an incomplete inspection.

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