Serious incident Airbus A320-211 N310NW,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 356458
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Date:Sunday 24 November 1996
Time:15:50 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic A320 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Airbus A320-211
Owner/operator:Northwest Airlines
Registration: N310NW
MSN: 121
Year of manufacture:1990
Total airframe hrs:20190 hours
Engine model:Cfm CFM-56
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 147
Aircraft damage: None
Category:Serious incident
Location:Romulus, MI -   United States of America
Phase: Landing
Departure airport:Fort Lauderdale, FL
Destination airport:(KDTW)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
As the captain applied rudder over the runway threshold to compensate for a crosswind, he noted that the rudder pedals 'were locked in the neutral position.' He used slight banking to keep the airplane on runway centerline through touchdown, and differential braking and nosewheel steering to stay on runway centerline after touchdown. Shortly after exiting the runway, the rudder became free and moved normally. Examination of the rudder autopilot artificial feel unit revealed that the radial play of the autopilot mode engagement/disengagement lever was not sufficient. This introduced higher friction in the bearing of the lever, resulting in an increased operating force. In this case, the back driving force was not able to rotate the lever and disengage the autopilot mode. A review of all service bulletins (SBs) covering the A320 rudder system revealed an Airbus Industrie SB, dated March 21, 1992, which addressed this condition, and introduced a new modified lever with a larger radial play of the bearing to eliminate the problem. The A320, N310NW, did not have this modification at the time of the incident.

Probable Cause: restricted movement of the autopilot mode engagement/disengagement lever bearing in the rudder artificial feel and trim unit. A factor relating to this incident was: company management not implementing the respective service bulletin.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: CHI97IA034
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 11 months
Download report: Final report




Revision history:

13-Mar-2024 07:28 ASN Update Bot Added

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