16 Years On: What Caused The JetBlue Nose Gear Incident?

On September 21, 2005, a JetBlue flight between Burbank and New York City had to do an emergency…

16 Years On: What Caused The JetBlue Nose Gear Incident?

On September 21, 2005, a JetBlue flight between Burbank and New York City had to do an emergency landing at Los Angeles International Airport. The incident was due to a malfunction of the nose gear. But, what happened on that day? Let’s investigate further.

JetBlue’s flight 292 had a hard landing 16 years ago. Photo: Andrewmarino via Wikimedia Commons.

JetBlue Flight 292

JetBlue scheduled Flight 292 between Burbank’s Bob Hope Airport and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. The airline used an Airbus A320-232, registration N536JB (and called Canyon Blue).

Onboard Flight 292 on September 21, 2005, were 140 passengers and six crew members. The aircraft departed Burbank at 15:17 and was scheduled to fly nearly 2,500 miles to New York City.

The first officer was flying the aircraft. During the initial departure, he didn’t notice any problem and even had a positive rate of climb, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

Nevertheless, a few minutes after, the flight crew noted an error message displayed on the Electric Centralized Aircraft Monitoring system. The crew could not retract the nose landing gear.

While the captain consulted the flight crew operating manual, the first officer flew over Palmdale, California. But, after a while, it became obvious that the flight wouldn’t go all the way to New York.

JetBlue A320
The crew of the flight had to land at Los Angeles International Airport. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

What happened next?

The crew diverted the flight to Long Beach, California. According to the NTSB, the captain decided to perform a flyby of the tower for verification of the gear status.

The tower, JetBlue ground personnel, and a local news helicopter advised him that the nose landing gear was canted 90 degrees to the left.

Instead of turning back to Burbank, the captain decided to land in Los Angeles International Airport. The NTSB discusses the captain’s choice “because it had optimum field conditions, runway length, and better emergency support services.” Before landing, the crew burn fuel for several hours.

Prior to landing, the captain announced its crew and passengers to brace for impact. He touched down at 120 knots, and did not use ground spoilers, reverse thrust, or auto-braking. Once the aircraft completely stopped, the air traffic control tower confirmed that there was no fire, and the passengers deplaned normally, using an airstair.

Both of the nose landing gear tires deflated and tore apart. Despite the abnormal nose landing gear configuration, the airplane stayed on the runway centerline, and its trajectory was unaffected.

16 Years On: What Caused The JetBlue Nose Gear Incident?
Following the incident, the NTSB launched an investigation. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

What caused the incident?

Following the hard landing at Los Angeles, the NTSB launched an investigation on the incident. The Board determined,

“Examination of the nose wheel assembly with a borescope revealed fractured and separated anti-rotation lugs.”

It also added,

“The examination of the nose landing gear assembly revealed that two of the four anti-rotation lugs on the upper support assembly have fractured and separated from the upper support assembly. The other two lugs contained cracks.”

Following the incident, Airbus issued an Operations Engineering Bulletin. This technical information provided a procedure for the flight crew to reset in flight the Brake Steering Control Unit which controls the nose landing gear.

Have you heard of JetBlue’s nose gear incident before? What else do you know? Let us know in the comments below. 

Source : Simple Flying More   

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European Airlines See Bookings Surge As The US Plans To Reopen

Europes airlines have seen a surge in booking overnight as the United States of America revealed that it…

European Airlines See Bookings Surge As The US Plans To Reopen

Europes airlines have seen a surge in booking overnight as the United States of America revealed that it would reopen to fully vaccinated tourists. The news will be extremely welcome by airlines who have been campaigning for the US to reopen to their passengers for months.

Airlines have seen a surge in bookings following the recent US travel announcement. Photo: Vincenzo Pace – Simple Flying

Towards the pandemic’s start, the United States banned travelers from Europe, the UK, and a handful of other countries. At the time, these were hotspots for the COVID-19 virus. However, as cases dropped in such countries, the ban wasn’t revised, leading to anger from airlines and passengers.

A huge surge in bookings

Since the US government’s announcement, airlines in Europe have seen a huge surge in bookings. British Airways was one of the first to reveal as much. Just hours after the announcement was made, BA told it had seen a 700% increase in flight searches for the United States.

Rival airline Virgin Atlantic also saw a similar impact. This morning the airline revealed that bookings to the United States had increased by 600% overnight compared to a week earlier.

British Airways, Lufthansa, Virgin Atlantic, United States
Virgin saw booking increase by 600%. Photo: Vincenzo Pace – Simple Flying

Unsurprisingly, New York had the highest increase in bookings as the airline’s flagship route. However, holiday destinations also benefited. Orlando bookings increased by 11 times, while Miami was up nine times and Las Vegas increased eight times. Commenting, the airline’s CEO, Shai Weiss, said,

“We are simply not Virgin without the Atlantic. After 18 months of uncertainty, we cannot wait to welcome our customers back onboard, flying them safety to their favourite US destination.”

The past week has been a double whammy of good news for British Airways and Virgin Atlantic. Not only did they receive notice that the United States would be reopening to their customers on Monday, but they also saw changes closer to home. On Friday, the UK Government revealed that it would be relaxing its COVID-19 related travel rules for vaccinated individuals, though they will become more challenging for the unvaccinated.

What about Lufthansa?

It is not only the UK airlines that are excited about the US reopening. Lufthansa has also seen positive booking changes. The German flag carrier observed a slightly more modest booking increase than Virgin Atlantic at 40%.

British Airways, Lufthansa, Virgin Atlantic, United States
The United States is Lufthansa’s most profitable market. Photo: Vincenzo Pace – Simple Flying

The airline’s CEO, Carsten Spohr, revealed that the United States was its most profitable market during its last quarterly results, even despite the ongoing restrictions. With passengers allowed to travel once more, the airline should see a decent financial boost.

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Spohr called the news a “major course-setting event on our way out of the crisis”, adding,

“The removal of travel restrictions to the USA is not only a major step out of the crisis for our airlines but also terrific news for the transatlantic partnership. As of November, families and friends will finally be able to see each other again, and business partners will be able to reestablish and deepen relationships in person.”

Have you booked a flight to the US following the rule change? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!

Source : Simple Flying More   

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