The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating a 4 April incident involving a United Airlines Airbus A320 that exited runway 19 in New Orleans during an emergency landing.

NTSB states the aircraft, N409UA, was returning to the airport 20 minutes after takeoff after encountering electrical difficulties and smoke in the cockpit.

The board cites preliminary information indicating that while climbing through 1,219m (4,000ft), the crew received automated warnings, detected smoke in the cockpit and reported loss of primary instrumentation.

United's crew initiated emergency landing procedures to turn back to the airport, and on landing, "the crew described a loss of anti-skid braking and nose-wheel steering and exited the runway approximately 2,000 feet (609m) from the approach threshold", says NTSB.

Passengers and crew members exited through the A320's emergency slides, and NTSB says it has been reported the aircraft's right forward slide did not inflate.

Board investigator-in-charge Dan Bower is heading up the investigation.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news