Event Details

Title:Engine vibration on climb, Airbus A321-211, F-GTAF
Micro summary:While climbing, erratic engine vibration indications on this A321 prompt a return to base.
Event Time:2002-04-21 at 0835 UTC
File Name:2002-04-21-UK.pdf
Publishing Agency:Aircraft Accident Investigation Board (AAIB)
Publishing Country:United Kingdom
Report number:EW/G2002/04/11
Site of event:Climb
Departure:London Heathrow Airport, London, England, United Kingdom
Airplane Type(s):Airbus A321-211
Flight Phase:Climb
Operator(s):Air France
Type of flight:Revenue
Serious Injuries:0
Other Injuries:0
Executive Summary:Three to four minutes after takeoff from Heathrow, while climbing to 6,000 feet under radar control, the commander noticed a significant increase in N2 (high pressure spool) vibration indications for the right (No 2) engine. He mentioned this to the first officer, who was flying the aircraft manually. A few seconds later, passing 3,500 feet, the engine experienced a surge accompanied by a lot of noise and considerable airframe vibration.

The commander actioned the 'Stall Reduction' (sic) procedure and retarded the No 2 engine to flight idle. Immediately the vibration and noise ceased and so, with the engine remaining at idle, he transmitted a distress message, requested radar vectors toward a landing back on Runway 27L at Heathrow, and for attendance by the Fire Service on landing. In his statement, the commander praised the assistance provided by the Air Traffic Controllers. With a total airborne time of 14 minutes, the aircraft made an uneventful landing on Runway 27L and, after an inspection by the Fire Service as the aircraft vacated the runway, it was taxied back to a parking stand, where the passengers were deplaned normally.
Learning Keywords:Systems - Engine - Compressor surge/stall
Systems - Engine - Contained Engine Failure
Close match:Runway overrun, Serious incident occurring January 19, 2004 at Frankfurt-Hahn involving a DC-10-40F
Engine failure, Aircraft incident at Kajaani airport, Finland 1. October 1996
Runway excursion on landing involving a Boeing 747-136, G-AWNN at Shannon Airport, on 24 October 1998
Crash short of runway, Boeing 737-400, British Midlands, G-OBME at Nottingham East Midlands Airport
Engine failure on takeoff, Boeing 747-436, G-BNLG
Birdstrike, rejected takeoff, and runway overrun, Boeing 737-200, Nashville, July 8, 1996
Bird ingestion into both engines, Douglas DC-9-15F, March 4, 1999
Contained #2 engine failure, Boeing 727-232, August 14, 1996
Foreign object ingestion and dual power loss, McDonnell Douglas DC-9-87, March 14, 1997


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