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Accident: United Airlines A320 at New Orleans on Apr 4th 2011, smoke in cockpit, complete electronic failure, runway excursion, evacuation
|By Simon Hradecky, created Monday, Apr 4th 2011 14:15Z, last updated Monday, Apr 4th 2011 22:10Z |
A United Airlines Airbus A320-200, registration N409UA performing flight UA-497 from New Orleans,LA to San Francisco,CA (USA) with 109 people on board, was in the initial climb when the crew reported smoke in the cockpit, levelled off at 5000 feet and returned to New Orleans. The crew reported before joining downwind that they had lost all instruments. The crew descended to 600 feet where they got visual contact with the water and continued visually for a landing on runway 19 about 10 minutes after departure, blew a tyre, but went left off the runway, stopped just off the paved surface with all gear north of the intersection with runway 10/28, and was evacuated via slides.
A number of passengers needed medical attention due to smoke inhalation.
The crew told passengers that they had lost all electronics and were flying on minimal backup systems, landing would occur overweight with minimal braking and minimal steering ability.
At the time of the emergency runway 10/28 at New Orleans was not available and was closed. Frantic attempts by tower to get the runway clear during the emergency proved unsuccessful, the runway was cleared and opened about 10 minutes after UA-497 had landed.
The NTSB reported that the crew received automated warnings and observed smoke in the cockpit while climbing through 4000 feet, subsequently they reported the loss of primary instruments. Upon landing they experienced the loss of anti-skid and nose wheel steering and went off the left side of the runway about 2000 feet down the runway. The right forward slide did not inflate. The NTSB have opened an investigation.