Event Details

Title:Nosewheel stuck 90, Airbus A320, N536JB, September 21, 2005
Micro summary:This airplane had its nosewheel stuck at a 90 degree angle while attempting to retract.
Event Time:2005-09-21 at 1818 PDT
File Name:2005-09-21-US.pdf
Publishing Agency:National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
Publishing Country:USA
Report number:LAX05IA312
Site of event:Los Angeles
Departure:Bob Hope Airport, Burbank, California, USA
Destination:John F. Kennedy International Airport, Jamaica, New York, USA
Airplane Type(s):Airbus A320
Flight Phase:Takeoff
Operator(s):Jet Blue Airlines
Type of flight:Revenue
Serious Injuries:0
Other Injuries:0
Executive Summary:On September 21, 2005, at 1818 Pacific daylight time, Jet Blue Airlines flight 292, an Airbus A320, N536JB, landed at Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles, California, with the nose wheels cocked 90 degrees. Jet Blue Airlines, Inc., was operating the airplane as a scheduled domestic passenger flight under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 121. The airline transport pilot licensed captain, first officer, 4 flight attendants, and 140 passengers were not injured. The flight departed Burbank, California, at 1531, as a nonstop to JFK Airport, New York, New York. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan had been filed.

The first officer (FO) flew the first leg. The initial departure did not indicate any problems, and he observed a positive rate of climb. After the captain attempted to retract the landing gear, two error messages displayed on the Electric Centralized Aircraft Monitoring (ECAM) system: nose gear shock absorber and nose wheel steering fault. There was no master warning so the FO continued flying the airplane while the captain troubleshot the ECAM system.

The FO flew the airplane over Palmdale, California, at 14,000 feet mean sea level (msl) while the captain consulted the flight crew operating manual (FCOM). The FCOM noted that the nose gear "may be caught at 90 degrees." The captain continued to evaluate the problem to ascertain the systems' status. The flight crew continually updated the cabin crew and passengers.

The flight diverted to Long Beach, California. The captain decided to perform a fly-by of the tower for verification on the gear status. The tower, Jet Blue ground personnel, and a local news helicopter advised him that the nose gear was cocked 90 degrees to the left. The flight crew decided to divert to Los Angeles. The crew flew for several hours to burn fuel so that they could land at a lighter weight.

The captain communicated with the cabin crew and passengers. The cabin crew emptied the first three rows of seats, and moved the baggage as far aft as possible. They placed able-bodied persons in the exit rows, and removed all baggage and paperwork from the seating area. They showed the able-bodied persons how to operate the doors, and gave additional instructions.

The flight attendants spoke to each passenger individually prior to the landing to ensure that they knew the emergency procedures that would take place and how to properly brace themselves. The flight attendants checked and double checked each others' work to ensure that everything was completed and would go according to plan.

The captain took note of the fuel burn to ensure that the center of gravity stayed within limits. The captain also advised the cabin crew that in the event the nose gear collapsed, evacuation from the aft doors was not available so everyone would deplane from the forward exits. The flight crew advised the cabin crew to take the emergency procedures up to the point of egress, at which time the captain would advise the method.

Prior to touchdown, the captain announced to "brace" and the flight attendants also transmitted "brace" over the public address system.

The captain flew the airplane for the landing. He touched down at 120 knots, and applied normal braking at 90 knots. He held the nose gear off of the ground as long as possible. At 60 knots, the flight crew shut down the engines. They did not use ground spoilers, reverse thrust, or auto braking. During the landing, the forward cabin crew could smell burnt rubber. The cabin crew remained at their stations as previously defined by the captain. The air traffic control tower confirmed that there was no fire, and the captain announced this to the cabin crew. After this notification, the passengers deplaned normally using an air stair.

Both nose tires collapsed during the landing roll, and about half of the two wheels was ground off.

Maintenance personnel jacked the airplane up, and removed the damaged wheels. They installed a right nose wheel, and towed the airplane to a maintenance hangar.

Maintenance personnel removed the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) and digital flight data recorder (DFDR). The National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge (IIC) sent them to the Safety Board Vehicle Recorder's Division for examination.

Maintenance records indicated that Jet Blue maintenance technicians replaced a proximity sensor on the nose wheel prior to the previous flight's departure from New York earlier in the day.

A post flight maintenance report indicated the following faults:

At 1531 PDT L/G Shock Absorber Fault (2)
At 1532 PDT Wheel N/W Strg Fault.

The IIC retained the nose gear assembly and several other components for examination.
Learning Keywords:Operations - Evacuation
Operations - Maintenance
Systems - Landing Gear
Systems - Landing Gear - Nose wheel steering


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