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Northwest A320 landing incident tied to cocked nose wheel

The US National Transportation Safety Board is investigating another incident in which an Airbus A320 landed with its nose-wheel twisted at a 90e_SDgr angle.

The incident occurred on 20 October when an A320 operating Northwest Airlines Flight 1432 from Minneapolis/St Paul with 134 passengers and a four crew on board landed at Hector International airport in Fargo, North Dakota, scraping its cocked nose-wheel tyres as it decelerated to a stop. There were no reported injuries and the aircraft received "minor damage" to the nose-gear assembly, says the NTSB.

The US Federal Aviation Administration incident report notes that the nose-gear "caught fire" as the aircraft slid to a stop on the runway, but the NTSB says that no fire retardant was needed.

The incident bears a striking resemblance to more than a dozen other A320 nose-gear incidents, including the high-profile emergency landing of a JetBlue Airways A320 in September 2005. In that incident, the pilots received warning messages after leaving Burbank in California for a nonstop flight to New York.

The investigation into that incident remains open, although an earlier JetBlue incident, in November 2002, was caused by an incorrect installation of the nose-gear cylinder's upper cam, one of four different failure modes that US and international investigators have linked to the problems.

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