|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0001 To 0600|
|Locale Reference||airport : bfi.airport|
|Altitude||msl single value : 6000|
|Operator||common carrier : air carrier|
|Make Model Name||A300|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 121|
|Flight Phase||climbout : initial|
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : captain|
oversight : pic
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 130|
flight time total : 12300
flight time type : 1650
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : first officer|
|Anomaly||aircraft equipment problem : critical|
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
other flight crewb
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : landed as precaution|
Captain's leg. Normal initial takeoff and climb. First officer called 'positive rate.' I responded; 'gear up.' I saw first officer trying to get gear handle up and he stated; 'I can't raise the gear.' ATC call to contact departure. Told first officer to go departure and tell them we needed an altitude and heading as we needed to work a problem. Cleared to 6000 ft and heading 060 degrees. During climb; I called for 'flaps up.' then told first officer to try gear retract again; check ECAM and QRH. Called for 'speed select 200 KTS in the window; autoplt #1 command.' tried several times to retract gear. Approaching 6000 ft; monitored aircraft for leveloff and realized it was not going to level. Disconnected autoplt; leveled aircraft; called for altitude hold; autoplt #1 command. Realized autothrottles not working and had first officer reset autothrottle switch a couple times. No help. Told first officer to tell ATC we needed return to bfi. ATC asked if we wanted to declare emergency. I stated no. Told ATC nature of problem; stated we had gear down and locked: 3 green -- just couldn't raise it. I stated we needed to go back and find out what the problem was with the gear. ATC cleared to descend 3000 ft and downwind heading 300 degrees (not positive on heading). Selected level change; retarded throttles and aircraft just slowed but would not descend. At this point I was wondering why so many things weren't working; and disconnected autoplt. Told first officer; 'nothing seems to be working; what the heck is going on here?' stated I would manually fly plane. We ran a quick return checklist. Told first officer to notify operations we were returning; unable to retract landing gear. ATC asked if we had the airport. We called the airport in sight and were cleared heading 030 degrees; cleared for visual approach. I called flaps 15 degrees; speed 180 degrees and asked first officer to pull up approach and speeds. First officer was having some problems with FMS and we walked through a couple things: changing destination; and getting landing speeds. About 4 mi left base; I called gear down; flaps 20 degrees; set speed 160 KTS (maybe 150 KTS). I told the first officer to just check ILS identify; vni switches to ILS; selected 'land' and got landing speed for current weight from QRH. I recall landing reference speed was 127 KTS. ATC cleared us to land. I turned final right over FAF for runway 13 and called flaps 40 degrees; landing checklist. Normal stabilized approach and landing up to the point of touchdown (nice touchdown). Immediately upon touchdown; felt tires (landing gear) 'grab' abruptly and initially thought I had a locked wheel or some other more significant problem. Saw maximum autobrake green light illuminated and immediately pushed low brake switch; then applied manual braking; then released brakes. Normal deployment of thrust reversers at main wheel touchdown and we were at 80 KTS and 60 KTS very quickly. I called for brake fans and turned off runway. ATC advised that we had a lot of smoke from mains at touchdown but now appeared to be clear. I knew the smoke was from maximum braking so wasn't overly concerned. We monitored brake temperatures on taxi in. Indicated temperatures with fans on never exceed 325 degrees. Blocked in and performed normal shutdown and secure checklist. Wrote up gear problem in logbook; then talked to mechanics. Told them about maximum brake landing and they did thorough inspection of gear and stated everything looked fine. Left brake fans on for about 10 mins after block-in then turned off and monitored. After block-in; brake temperatures did not exceed 310 degrees indicated with brake fans off. Maintenance found right main landing gear position sensing switch broken. This switch tells aircraft when gear is in proper position for safe retract. This was a gear position sensing problem due to a broken or faulty switch. I do not know if this is something that is routinely checked by maintenance on a daily basis. This is not something checked on a crew member's preflight and I don't believe most of us would know what to look for anyway. I believe the only way to prevent a future occurrence of the same situation is to have this switch checked regularly. However; I did find out that all the other problems; ie; autothrottles; maximum brake remaining armed; etc; were a result of the position of the gear handle and the fact that it did not go to the 'up' and then the 'on' position. This is something that should be discussed and reviewed in system training; ie; associated circuitry and what you have or don't have based on gear handle position and how you can recover these things in the event of a recurrence. I was fortunate that the mechanic I spoke with was an expert on airbus system. Also; due to not being able to raise the gear and leaving slats extended; I didn't do an after takeoff checklist and subsequently did not do an approach checklist. Had I called for the approach checklist; we would have likely caught the fact that the brakes did not disarm and we wouldn't have the maximum brake application on landing. As it turned out; this was one of those situations that got us (specifically me) out of the normal sequence of events and had I taken an extended downwind and took some more time to look things over; probably would have run the approach checklist; would have caught the maximum automatic brake armed; etc. When used to having a lot of automation; reverting to all manual and raw data indications could have been a problem. We were fortunate it was a clear; VFR night because WX and actual instrument conditions would have compounded our situation. We fell back on the old aviate; navigation; communication rules and it was a good learning experience that turned out ok; with no far or airspace violations and safe outcome.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: AN A300 WITH A FAILED GND-AIR SENSING SWITCH WAS UNABLE TO RAISE THE LNDG GEAR AND ALSO HAD OTHER SYS INOP. RETURN LAND.
Narrative: CAPT'S LEG. NORMAL INITIAL TKOF AND CLB. FO CALLED 'POSITIVE RATE.' I RESPONDED; 'GEAR UP.' I SAW FO TRYING TO GET GEAR HANDLE UP AND HE STATED; 'I CAN'T RAISE THE GEAR.' ATC CALL TO CONTACT DEP. TOLD FO TO GO DEP AND TELL THEM WE NEEDED AN ALT AND HDG AS WE NEEDED TO WORK A PROB. CLRED TO 6000 FT AND HDG 060 DEGS. DURING CLB; I CALLED FOR 'FLAPS UP.' THEN TOLD FO TO TRY GEAR RETRACT AGAIN; CHK ECAM AND QRH. CALLED FOR 'SPD SELECT 200 KTS IN THE WINDOW; AUTOPLT #1 COMMAND.' TRIED SEVERAL TIMES TO RETRACT GEAR. APCHING 6000 FT; MONITORED ACFT FOR LEVELOFF AND REALIZED IT WAS NOT GOING TO LEVEL. DISCONNECTED AUTOPLT; LEVELED ACFT; CALLED FOR ALT HOLD; AUTOPLT #1 COMMAND. REALIZED AUTOTHROTTLES NOT WORKING AND HAD FO RESET AUTOTHROTTLE SWITCH A COUPLE TIMES. NO HELP. TOLD FO TO TELL ATC WE NEEDED RETURN TO BFI. ATC ASKED IF WE WANTED TO DECLARE EMER. I STATED NO. TOLD ATC NATURE OF PROB; STATED WE HAD GEAR DOWN AND LOCKED: 3 GREEN -- JUST COULDN'T RAISE IT. I STATED WE NEEDED TO GO BACK AND FIND OUT WHAT THE PROB WAS WITH THE GEAR. ATC CLRED TO DSND 3000 FT AND DOWNWIND HDG 300 DEGS (NOT POSITIVE ON HDG). SELECTED LEVEL CHANGE; RETARDED THROTTLES AND ACFT JUST SLOWED BUT WOULD NOT DSND. AT THIS POINT I WAS WONDERING WHY SO MANY THINGS WEREN'T WORKING; AND DISCONNECTED AUTOPLT. TOLD FO; 'NOTHING SEEMS TO BE WORKING; WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON HERE?' STATED I WOULD MANUALLY FLY PLANE. WE RAN A QUICK RETURN CHKLIST. TOLD FO TO NOTIFY OPS WE WERE RETURNING; UNABLE TO RETRACT LNDG GEAR. ATC ASKED IF WE HAD THE ARPT. WE CALLED THE ARPT IN SIGHT AND WERE CLRED HDG 030 DEGS; CLRED FOR VISUAL APCH. I CALLED FLAPS 15 DEGS; SPD 180 DEGS AND ASKED FO TO PULL UP APCH AND SPDS. FO WAS HAVING SOME PROBS WITH FMS AND WE WALKED THROUGH A COUPLE THINGS: CHANGING DEST; AND GETTING LNDG SPDS. ABOUT 4 MI L BASE; I CALLED GEAR DOWN; FLAPS 20 DEGS; SET SPD 160 KTS (MAYBE 150 KTS). I TOLD THE FO TO JUST CHK ILS IDENT; VNI SWITCHES TO ILS; SELECTED 'LAND' AND GOT LNDG SPD FOR CURRENT WT FROM QRH. I RECALL LNDG REF SPD WAS 127 KTS. ATC CLRED US TO LAND. I TURNED FINAL RIGHT OVER FAF FOR RWY 13 AND CALLED FLAPS 40 DEGS; LNDG CHKLIST. NORMAL STABILIZED APCH AND LNDG UP TO THE POINT OF TOUCHDOWN (NICE TOUCHDOWN). IMMEDIATELY UPON TOUCHDOWN; FELT TIRES (LNDG GEAR) 'GRAB' ABRUPTLY AND INITIALLY THOUGHT I HAD A LOCKED WHEEL OR SOME OTHER MORE SIGNIFICANT PROB. SAW MAX AUTOBRAKE GREEN LIGHT ILLUMINATED AND IMMEDIATELY PUSHED LOW BRAKE SWITCH; THEN APPLIED MANUAL BRAKING; THEN RELEASED BRAKES. NORMAL DEPLOYMENT OF THRUST REVERSERS AT MAIN WHEEL TOUCHDOWN AND WE WERE AT 80 KTS AND 60 KTS VERY QUICKLY. I CALLED FOR BRAKE FANS AND TURNED OFF RWY. ATC ADVISED THAT WE HAD A LOT OF SMOKE FROM MAINS AT TOUCHDOWN BUT NOW APPEARED TO BE CLR. I KNEW THE SMOKE WAS FROM MAX BRAKING SO WASN'T OVERLY CONCERNED. WE MONITORED BRAKE TEMPS ON TAXI IN. INDICATED TEMPS WITH FANS ON NEVER EXCEED 325 DEGS. BLOCKED IN AND PERFORMED NORMAL SHUTDOWN AND SECURE CHKLIST. WROTE UP GEAR PROB IN LOGBOOK; THEN TALKED TO MECHS. TOLD THEM ABOUT MAX BRAKE LNDG AND THEY DID THOROUGH INSPECTION OF GEAR AND STATED EVERYTHING LOOKED FINE. LEFT BRAKE FANS ON FOR ABOUT 10 MINS AFTER BLOCK-IN THEN TURNED OFF AND MONITORED. AFTER BLOCK-IN; BRAKE TEMPS DID NOT EXCEED 310 DEGS INDICATED WITH BRAKE FANS OFF. MAINT FOUND R MAIN LNDG GEAR POS SENSING SWITCH BROKEN. THIS SWITCH TELLS ACFT WHEN GEAR IS IN PROPER POS FOR SAFE RETRACT. THIS WAS A GEAR POS SENSING PROB DUE TO A BROKEN OR FAULTY SWITCH. I DO NOT KNOW IF THIS IS SOMETHING THAT IS ROUTINELY CHKED BY MAINT ON A DAILY BASIS. THIS IS NOT SOMETHING CHKED ON A CREW MEMBER'S PREFLT AND I DON'T BELIEVE MOST OF US WOULD KNOW WHAT TO LOOK FOR ANYWAY. I BELIEVE THE ONLY WAY TO PREVENT A FUTURE OCCURRENCE OF THE SAME SITUATION IS TO HAVE THIS SWITCH CHKED REGULARLY. HOWEVER; I DID FIND OUT THAT ALL THE OTHER PROBS; IE; AUTOTHROTTLES; MAX BRAKE REMAINING ARMED; ETC; WERE A RESULT OF THE POS OF THE GEAR HANDLE AND THE FACT THAT IT DID NOT GO TO THE 'UP' AND THEN THE 'ON' POS. THIS IS SOMETHING THAT SHOULD BE DISCUSSED AND REVIEWED IN SYS TRAINING; IE; ASSOCIATED CIRCUITRY AND WHAT YOU HAVE OR DON'T HAVE BASED ON GEAR HANDLE POS AND HOW YOU CAN RECOVER THESE THINGS IN THE EVENT OF A RECURRENCE. I WAS FORTUNATE THAT THE MECH I SPOKE WITH WAS AN EXPERT ON AIRBUS SYS. ALSO; DUE TO NOT BEING ABLE TO RAISE THE GEAR AND LEAVING SLATS EXTENDED; I DIDN'T DO AN AFTER TKOF CHKLIST AND SUBSEQUENTLY DID NOT DO AN APCH CHKLIST. HAD I CALLED FOR THE APCH CHKLIST; WE WOULD HAVE LIKELY CAUGHT THE FACT THAT THE BRAKES DID NOT DISARM AND WE WOULDN'T HAVE THE MAX BRAKE APPLICATION ON LNDG. AS IT TURNED OUT; THIS WAS ONE OF THOSE SITUATIONS THAT GOT US (SPECIFICALLY ME) OUT OF THE NORMAL SEQUENCE OF EVENTS AND HAD I TAKEN AN EXTENDED DOWNWIND AND TOOK SOME MORE TIME TO LOOK THINGS OVER; PROBABLY WOULD HAVE RUN THE APCH CHKLIST; WOULD HAVE CAUGHT THE MAX AUTO BRAKE ARMED; ETC. WHEN USED TO HAVING A LOT OF AUTOMATION; REVERTING TO ALL MANUAL AND RAW DATA INDICATIONS COULD HAVE BEEN A PROB. WE WERE FORTUNATE IT WAS A CLR; VFR NIGHT BECAUSE WX AND ACTUAL INST CONDITIONS WOULD HAVE COMPOUNDED OUR SITUATION. WE FELL BACK ON THE OLD AVIATE; NAV; COM RULES AND IT WAS A GOOD LEARNING EXPERIENCE THAT TURNED OUT OK; WITH NO FAR OR AIRSPACE VIOLATIONS AND SAFE OUTCOME.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of January 2009 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.