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A320 conducted short-field take-off after runway blunder

United Arab Emirates investigators are probing an incident in which an Airbus A320 turned onto Sharjah’s runway in the wrong direction before an intersection take-off.

Sharjah has a single runway, designated 12/30, which is 4,060m (13,200ft) in length.

The Air Arabia aircraft had been cleared to depart from the B14 intersection of runway 30 for a service to Salalah, says French investigation authority BEA, citing its UAE counterpart.

But the crew erroneously lined up with the opposite-direction runway 12, positioning the jet just 750m from the threshold for runway 30 and leaving only around 1,200m of runway in total for the take-off run.

BEA says the captain of aircraft (A6-ANV) took over the controls after realising that the remaining distance for take-off was short – some 1,100m – and engaged maximum thrust.

The captain also selected position ‘2’ for the flap configuration, extending the flaps to 15° and the slats to 22°, to aid the take-off.

BEA says the aircraft “took off at the end of the runway”, and that the pilots received a call from air traffic control after the departure informing them of the incorrect runway use.

None of those on board was injured during the 18 September incident.

Meteorological data for Sharjah shows visibility and weather conditions were good on the day, with temperatures of around 40C.

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