Airbus Training Flight Generates Actual Control Problem
On the ground roll for a touch-and-go landing during a training flight at Prestwick, Scotland, a takeoff configuration warning sounded on an Airbus A320, prompting the captain to abort the takeoff. The UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch said that although the aircraft stopped on the runway remaining, the crew did not realize the aircraft had suffered nosewheel damage during the maneuver and hence began another takeoff, with the first officer acting as the pilot flying. During that takeoff roll, the crew received another annunciation warning of a “landing-gear shock absorber” fault, but too late to stop the aircraft. This meant the landing gear would not retract, nor would the autothrust or autopilot engage. The captain chose to fly the aircraft to a company maintenance base where technicians determined that the nose-gear squat switch had been damaged so that aircraft systems responded as if the A320 was still on the ground. Maintenance technicians also learned that the spoiler lever was pushed down and moved aft from the “retracted” position and generated an inboard spoiler operation message after very little movement, which they believe generated the takeoff warning horn. The undisclosed operator revised training procedures to avoid incorrect movement of the speed-brake handle.