|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Locale Reference||airport : zzz.airport|
|Operator||common carrier : air carrier|
|Make Model Name||A320|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 121|
|Flight Phase||cruise : level|
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : first officer|
|Qualification||pilot : atp|
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : captain|
oversight : pic
|Anomaly||non adherence : published procedure|
non adherence : far
non adherence : company policies
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : detected after the fact|
I am writing this report to point out a potential problem with the reinforced A320 cockpit door. On a recent flight I noticed that the top latch didn't look right. However, all cockpit indications regarding the door were normal. After landing, when I had the chance to examine the lock more closely, I discovered that the top strike plate/latch was actually tilted forward in front of the locking pin, not behind it. This meant that the latch was in fact not locked, even though no fault lights were illuminated. Further investigation revealed that it is possible for all of the latches to be forward of their locking pins with the door indicating closed and no fault indications whatsoever. In this condition, the door can be opened with a simple push even though it indicates locked. The situation described above is only possible if the door is unlocked electronically, ie the locking pins are retracted and the latches are allowed forward of their locking pins. Following our current SOP it should be highly unlikely that this situation could occur. However, when/if we install cameras and allow the use of the electronic unlock system, the possibility of this occurring would greatly increase. Also, the latch I found unlocked got there somehow, improper SOP, maintenance, use of the emergency entrance code, etc.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: AN A320 FO NOTICED A SIGNIFICANT PROB WITH THE REINFORCED COCKPIT DOOR LOCKING MECHANISM WHEN USED ELECTRONICALLY, RATHER THAN MANUALLY.
Narrative: I AM WRITING THIS RPT TO POINT OUT A POTENTIAL PROB WITH THE REINFORCED A320 COCKPIT DOOR. ON A RECENT FLT I NOTICED THAT THE TOP LATCH DIDN'T LOOK RIGHT. HOWEVER, ALL COCKPIT INDICATIONS REGARDING THE DOOR WERE NORMAL. AFTER LNDG, WHEN I HAD THE CHANCE TO EXAMINE THE LOCK MORE CLOSELY, I DISCOVERED THAT THE TOP STRIKE PLATE/LATCH WAS ACTUALLY TILTED FORWARD IN FRONT OF THE LOCKING PIN, NOT BEHIND IT. THIS MEANT THAT THE LATCH WAS IN FACT NOT LOCKED, EVEN THOUGH NO FAULT LIGHTS WERE ILLUMINATED. FURTHER INVESTIGATION REVEALED THAT IT IS POSSIBLE FOR ALL OF THE LATCHES TO BE FORWARD OF THEIR LOCKING PINS WITH THE DOOR INDICATING CLOSED AND NO FAULT INDICATIONS WHATSOEVER. IN THIS CONDITION, THE DOOR CAN BE OPENED WITH A SIMPLE PUSH EVEN THOUGH IT INDICATES LOCKED. THE SIT DESCRIBED ABOVE IS ONLY POSSIBLE IF THE DOOR IS UNLOCKED ELECTRONICALLY, IE THE LOCKING PINS ARE RETRACTED AND THE LATCHES ARE ALLOWED FORWARD OF THEIR LOCKING PINS. FOLLOWING OUR CURRENT SOP IT SHOULD BE HIGHLY UNLIKELY THAT THIS SIT COULD OCCUR. HOWEVER, WHEN/IF WE INSTALL CAMERAS AND ALLOW THE USE OF THE ELECTRONIC UNLOCK SYSTEM, THE POSSIBILITY OF THIS OCCURRING WOULD GREATLY INCREASE. ALSO, THE LATCH I FOUND UNLOCKED GOT THERE SOMEHOW, IMPROPER SOP, MAINT, USE OF THE EMER ENTRANCE CODE, ETC.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of July 2007 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.