Why Do Airbus A320s Keep Landing with the Nose Gear Sideways?

It’s complicated…


How badly trashed are the runways after these incidents?


OK, the precise failure modes in each of the 5 incidents discussed were different … but it still sounds like there may have been an underlying design problem with the Airbus nose wheel. After all, planes from other manufacturers have been landing for decades without many examples of this problem.

Also interesting that Airbus’s response to the nose wheel problems was usually – software patches. That is the same approach for which Boeing was quite rightly lambasted in the 737 MAX debacle. Perhaps the trend in the airline industry is to try to work around a known problem with cheap software updates instead of redesigning the problem part of system?


Curiously, yesterday in Chongqing in western China, an Airbus headed for Tibet failed to launch. The pilot aborted the take-off, and then the plane slewed off the runway and caught fire. Fortunately passengers & crew were evacuated safely, thanks to the very prompt emergency response. The slewing off the runway made me wonder if this was another case of Airbus nose gear assuming the sideways position?

This brought back memories of the previous strange aircraft accident in China – the Boeing 737 carrying Representative Swalwell’s friend Fang Fang and many others that inexplicably dived into the earth with no survivors. Very little has been said about the cause of that crash. Just one more thing to wonder about!


Different Fang Fang.

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