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Category: <span>autopilot failure</span>

Envoy Air Flight Makes Emergency Landing at DFW Airport

Envoy Air flight MQ-4215 made an emergency landing at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Texas, on February 11th.

The plane flying from Fort Smith, Arkansas, was on approach to DFW Airport when the crew reported a trim and autopilot failure.

The plane landed safely. Everyone aboard remained unharmed.

Air France Flight Makes Emergency Landing in Sao Paulo

Air France flight AF-457 made an emergency landing in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on December 10th.

The Boeing 777-300 plane took off for Charles de Gaulle Airport, France, but had to turn back due to issues with the speed indicators, autopilot and auto thrust.

The plane landed back safely. All passengers and crew members remained unharmed.

Copa Airlines Flight Diverts to Mexico City After Auto-Pilot Failure

Copa Airlines flight CM-156 had to divert and make an emergency landing in Mexico City, Mexico, on October 18th.

The plane heading from Monterrey, Mexico, to Panama City, Panama, was diverted due to the autopilot failure.

The plane landed safely. All sixty-nine passengers and five crew members remained unharmed.

Air Malta Flight Returns to Paris Orly Airport due to Autopilot Problems

Air Malta flight KM-467 had to return and make an emergency landing at Paris Orly Airport, France, on September 5th.

The Airbus A320-200 plane took off for Malta but had to turn back after the crew noticed autopilot problems.

The plane landed safely. All passengers and crew members remained unharmed.

Azul Linhas Aereas Flight Makes Emergency Landing in Brazil

Azul Linhas Aereas flight AD-8704 had to return and make an emergency landing at Viracopos International Airport, Brazil, on July 23rd.

The Airbus A330-200 plane took off for Fort Lauderdale, Florida, but had to turn back after both autopilots failed.

The plane landed back safely. All passengers and crew members remained unharmed.

United Airlines Flight Diverts to Washington Dulles International Airport

United Airlines flight UA-1068 had to divert and make an emergency landing at Washington Dulles International Airport, Virginia, on February 18th.

The Boeing 737-700 plane heading from Newark, New Jersey, to Bogota, Colombia, was diverted after both autopilots failed.

The plane landed safely. All passengers and crew members remained safe.

Transavia Flight Makes Emergency Landing in Amsterdam

Transavia flight HV-6531 had to make an emergency landing in Amsterdam, Netherlands, on November 3rd.

The Boeing 737-700 plane heading from Eindhoven, Netherlands, to Tel Aviv, Israel, was diverted after both autopilots failed.

The plane landed safely. All passengers and crew members remained unharmed.

United Airlines Plane Makes Emergency Landing in Calgary

HT_United_Airlines1_MEM_151006_12x5_1600United Airlines flight UA-1418 made an emergency landing in Calgary, Canada, on October 13th.

The Airbus A320-200 plane was flying from Houston, Texas, when the crew declared an emergency due to problems with autopilot system and possible issues with nose gear.

The plane landed uneventfully. All 64 people aboard remained safe.

Air France 447 Revisited by Air France 471

Satellite Image Jul 22nd 00:00Z : NASA
Satellite Image Jul 22nd 00:00Z : NASA

What: Air France Airbus A340-300 en route from Caracas Venezuela to Paris
Where: NW of Point A Pitre Guadeloupe
When: Jul 22nd 2011
Why: In an experience that is being compared to Air France Flight 447, in night/instrument conditions, the AF Airbus flew through turbulence (reported by pilots, not on METAR) at 35,000 feet, accelerated (to 0.66 mach), and autopilot quit. Pitch attitude increased to 11 degrees and decelerated. Turbulence reduced, and pilots were able to level off and return the flight to normal parameters.

Hopefully the events of this flight will inform us of what is going on in the Airbus at high altitude

In George’s Point of View


Perhaps this flight recapitulates the events of Air France 447. It certainly seems to. Because of what history shows us, I wonder if there was a repeat of faulty input from the pitot tubes. The pilots, in this case managed to regain control of the plane. (I doubt if there is an airbus pilot now who hasn’t studied the events of AF447 and worked out some kind emergency response.)

Pilots blame the equipment. The BEA blames the pilots. Air France blames the instruments.

When the dust settles and the finger-pointing stops, we want those involved to stop blaming, and start taking responsibility.

Faulty Autopilot Forces LAX Landing

What: United Airlines en route to San Francisco
Where: LAX
When: April 17, 2011
Why: After takeoff, the autopilot took control and would not relinquish it. The pilot had no control over the plane, but then was able to turn off autopilot and return to the airport.

The news release of this event does not mention the type of plane; but I am not surprised at first research that it appears to have been an Airbus A320. Fortunately, the pilot regained control, and there were no injuries. But this kind of problem with an airbus could have significance relating to all fly by wire aircraft, which have the capacity to lock out the pilot.

We need more information about this event. It should be published heavily, and we should be hearing some alerts and safety directives from Airbus.

Jetstar Airbus A330-200 Autopilot Fails


Click to view full size photo at Airliners.net
Contact photographer John Richard Thomson

What: Jetstar Airways Airbus A330-200 en route from Phuket (Thailand) to Sydney,NS
Where: Changi Airport, Singapore
When: Nov 1 2010
Who: 288 passengers
Why: While en route, the autopilot failed. The pilots diverted to Singapore where they made a safe landing with emergency services on standby.

Alternative arrangements have been made for the affected passengers, who were booked onto other flights and offered accommodation in Singapore.

Air Canada: Autopilot Problem


Pictured: An Air Canada Boeing 767-333/ER at Toronto – Lester B. Pearson International
Click to view full size photo at Airliners.net
Contact photographer

What: Air Canada 767 en route from Toronto to Buenos Aires
Where: Toronto’s Pearson International Airport
When: Mar 16th 2010
Who: 129 aboard
Why: While en route, the flight developed a problem with the automatic pilot and diverted to Toronto where they made a safe landing with three fire trucks on standby. Passengers were rerouted.

Wonky Air France Airbus Autopilot Delays Flight


Click to view full size photo at Airliners.net
Contact photographer Vincent Edlinger

What: Air France Airbus A380-800 en route from New York to Paris
Where: Long Island
When: Nov 27th 2009
Who: not available
Why: After takeoff, the plane indicated an autopilot problem. They returned to the airport where the plane landed, was repaired and took off again, arriving safely in Paris about 6 hours late-

Air Canada: 767 Auto-pilot Fails


Click to view full size photo at Airliners.net
Contact photographer Michael Fast
What: Air Canada 767 en route from Toronto to Buenos Aires and/or Sao Paulo Brazil.
Where: Toronto’s Pearson International Airport
When: Wednesday April 15 2009
Who: 129 on board
Why: When the pilot detected problems with the automatic pilot system, they followed standard operating procedure and returned to the airport for a safe landing. Passengers debarked on to the runway and were transported to the terminal where they were scheduled to take an alternative flight.

Quantas Autopilot Incident Spurs Part Safety Investigation


What: Qantas Airways Airbus A330-300 en route from Perth in Western Australia to Singapore
Where: Perth
When: Saturday December 27,
Who: The number of passengers and crew has not yet been released.
Why: The autopilot on a Qantas Airways Airbus A330 suddenly disconnected 500 kilometres after taking off. The jet was cruising at 36,000 feet when the autopilot quit. The flight successfully turned and landed in Perth.

This being the second autopilot fault, the situation is being investigated. A prior incident involving an on board system shutoff has been possibly attributed to communications interfering with aircraft onboard systems.

The ADIRU (air data inertial reference unit) is the flight computer system component about which the crew received an error message during the Dec 27 incident.

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