Sunday, June 23, 2024

A Boeing 737 was only 10 feet off the ground as it cleared the runway when a software glitch meant it didn’t have enough thrust

Must read

A Boeing 737 barely managed to clear a runway following a software glitch, according to the UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch.

On May 30, the AAIB released a preliminary report about the “serious incident” that took place in March.

Taking off from Bristol Airport, the TUI Airways 737 was only 10 feet in the air — the same height as a basketball hoop — when it crossed the end of the runway. The 737 then overflew a major road next to the airport by less than 100 feet, per the report.

An analysis of the incident by TUI found that the 737 had accelerated at a slower rate than 99.7% of other takeoffs at Bristol.

The AAIB said the pilots didn’t notice they had set the thrust “significantly below” the required level. Then, it said, the autothrottle disengaged as they selected the takeoff mode. This was due to a fault with the system.

According to the AAIB’s report, Boeing said the 737’s autothrottle has “a long history of nuisance disconnects during takeoff mode engagements.”

The jet used an older model of the autothrottle, although Boeing had detailed this issue back in 2021.

Boeing is experiencing a crisis, which has led to CEO Dave Calhoun announcing his resignation. It is trying to regain the trust of customers and passengers following January’s Alaska Airlines blowout. That incident involved a 737 Max, whereas the Bristol Airport one involved the previous generation, the 737 NG.

“Boeing is supporting the Air Accidents Investigation Branch with its investigation,” the planemaker said in a statement shared with Business Insider.

“As a party to that investigation, we’re not able to comment and will refer you to the AAIB for any information.”

In a statement sent to Business Insider, TUI said: “We have worked closely with the authorities to provide all available information.

“The AAIB recommendations and learnings resulting from this take-off will support the whole aviation sector and other airlines. The safety of our passengers and crew is always our highest priority.”

Latest article