On July 19th 2019, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued a warning to airlines operating the A321neo. The Airbus A321neo belongs to the A320 family. It is the aircraft showcased at the Farnborough Motor Show in 2016.
A control anomaly on the A321neo
The EASA has identified a flight control anomaly on the A321neo which, under certain circumstances, would make it more difficult for the pilots to control the aircraft. To be more specific, the issue occurs when the aircraft is below 100 ft, under certain landing conditions, with the aircraft having by a particularly aft center-of-gravity and while the crew is engaged in performing a dynamic manoeuvre (ex: go-around). The findings are purely theoretical at this stage and are not the result of any actual incident.
Airbus addresses the issue on A321neo
Airbus immediately responded by issuing temporary revisions to the flight manual. It added updated procedures to prevent the aircraft from being in a bad position. However, this temporary fix isn’t based on software, but rather a “mitigating strategy involving operational dispatch limitation”.
It also announced that it was developing a flight-control system update which should be made available to airlines in the third quarter of 2020.
Is the Airbus A321neo safe?
According to FlightGlobal, while the EASA reported a control anomaly, the crew would not lose the control of the aircraft, and the aircraft would remain in safe operation, assuming the crew follows the procedure.
First commercially launched in May 2017, the A321neo has been flying for three years and no incidents have been reported to date.
Fred has spent 10 years working as a travel agent in the EMEA region, before returning to his passion for writing. Fred currently writes for several publications and newsletter related to the aviation and travel industries.