Airbus A319-131, G-DBCI, 18 April 2007

Airbus A319-131, G-DBCI

Summary:

The Dutch Safety Board delegated the investigation to the UK AAIB. The aircraft was departing Amsterdam, in good weather and light winds, on a flight to London. During the latter stages of the takeoff roll the aircraft yawed rapidly to the right and took off over the side of the runway on a heading that was 18° to the right of the runway centreline. It lifted off at a speed 5 kt below V1 before reaching the edge of the runway. It was then manoeuvred back onto the runway centreline and it continued on its assigned Standard Instrument Departure (SID) as it slowly accelerated. Recorded data showed that the rapid yaw during the ground roll had been caused by a deflection of the rudder. The evidence indicated that there had been no malfunction of the aircraft, nor significant wake vortex effects from the preceding heavy aircraft, and that the rudder deflection had been in response to rudder pedal movements. The reasons for the right rudder pedal inputs could not be positively determined. The speed at which the aircraft began its turn to the right was such that it would have been appropriate to abort the takeoff, albeit at a late stage in the takeoff roll. It was possible that under-arousal, in the benign operating conditions that prevailed, may have affected the performance of both flight crew. As a result of miscommunication, the aircraft remained in service for a period after the incident without comprehensive checks being carried out to determine if an aircraft malfunction might have been responsible for the rapid yaw. Two safety recommendations are made.

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