Excessive pitch issues discovered on A320neo family

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has been forced to issue a second warning relating to the Airbus A320 family of jets. One month ago, a pitch anomaly was discovered on the A321neo, now a similar problem has been brought to the attention of the agency relating to the A320neo. The issue relates to the aircraft’s angle-of-attack (AOA) protection system, which, under certain conditions could lead to excessive pitch and a higher level of workload for the crew.

According to the Airworthiness Directive (AD) issued by EASA on July 31, a “reduced efficiency” of the A320neo AOA protection under certain flight conditions, and in combination with specific command manoeuvres from the flight crew, could lead to excessive pitch attitudes, possibly increasing cockpit workload conditions.

This “potentially unsafe” condition, although never encountered during operations, was discovered during analysis and laboratory testing of the A320neo flight control laws, EASA stated.

In response, Airbus have issued a temporary revision to the A320neo flight manual to deal with the situation, and EASA have instructed operators of the type to revise their manuals accordingly. The change limits the centre-of-gravity envelope for the aircraft. Additionally, Airbus has provided loading recommendations.

The new AD for the A320neo comes into effect on August 14, and will be monitored and revised if necessary, over the following weeks.

 

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