Report: A320 copilot made rolling takeff on wrong runway at Sharjah

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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 216077

Last updated: 10 January 2022

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Date: 18-SEP-2018
Time: 16:25 LT
Type: Silhouette image of generic A320 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Airbus A320-214 (WL)
Owner/operator: Air Arabia
Registration: A6-ANV
MSN: 5984
Fatalities: Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 48
Other fatalities: 0
Aircraft damage: None
Category: Serious incident
Location: Sharjah Airport (SHJ/OMSJ) –   United Arab Emirates
Phase: Take off
Nature: Passenger – Scheduled
Departure airport: Sharjah Airport (SHJ/OMSJ)
Destination airport: Salalah Airport (SLL/OOSA)
Investigating agency:  GCAA UAE

Air Arabia flight ABY111, an Airbus A320, took off from the wrong runway at Sharjah Airport, UAE.
There were 42 passengers and six crew members on board. The copilot, under training, was the pilot flying (PF) and occupied the right cockpit seat. The commander on the flight was a training captain and occupied the left seat.
As part of the copilot’s training, the commander had briefed that a rolling takeoff would be conducted. The responsibility for engine start was the commander’s. The copilot taxied the aircraft whereas the commander was on the radio communications.
Tower air traffic control gave clearance for an intersection takeoff from taxiway Bravo 14 for runway 30, which required a left turn for the correct runway. Thereafter, the before takeoff checklist ‘below the line’ items were completed by the flight crew.
Instead of steering the aircraft left following runway 30 lead-on lines from Bravo 14 intersection, the copilot steered the aircraft right for runway 12. The copilot called out that RWY was not showing on the flight mode annunciation (FMA) after the thrust levers were moved to the FLX/MCT detent. As the aircraft accelerated through 57 knots, the commander realized that the aircraft was on the wrong runway and immediately took over control. His decision to continue the
takeoff was based on his perception that there was insufficient available runway for rejecting the takeoff. The commander advanced the thrust levers to TOGA detent and nine seconds after, changed the aircraft flap setting from 1+F to flap 2 position. The aircraft lifted off 20 to 40 meters beyond the end of runway 12. No. 3 main wheel tire received cuts when it struck one approach light during the liftoff.
The Tower controller did not detect that the aircraft had turned unto runway 12 and only noticed when the aircraft was about eight seconds before liftoff.
The commander handed over controls to the copilot and the flight continued uneventfully to the planned destination.

The Air Accident Investigation Sector of United Arab Emirates (AAIS) determines that the cause of the runway confusion was the Copilot steering the Aircraft right onto the wrong runway during a rolling takeoff.
Entry to the wrong runway was due to degraded situation awareness of the Aircraft direction by both flight crewmembers due to lack of external peripheral visual watch and runway confirmation.
Contributing Factors to the Serious Incident:
A contributing factor to the Incident was that the air traffic controller did not monitor the Aircraft movement after take-off clearance was given.


Accident investigation:

Investigating agency:  GCAA UAE
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 3 years and 3 months
Download report: Final report


Graphic: GCAA

Revision history:

Date/time Contributor Updates
06-Oct-2018 14:26 harro Added
10-Jan-2022 18:15 harro Updated [Time, Total occupants, Narrative, Accident report, Photo]
10-Jan-2022 18:19 harro Updated [Narrative]