Pilots enter wrong data and TAP plane takes off a second before crossing the runway


A serious incident involving a TAP Air Portugal plane is being investigated by Portuguese authorities, in which an Airbus A330neo took off at the last moment in the capital of Angola, due to a wrong parameter entered by the pilots. The case was registered on April 12, but information about the investigation was released recently, as The Aviation Herald mentions.

On the occasion, the CS-TUL registration jet would take off from Luanda to Lisbon with 148 passengers and 10 crew on board, fulfilling the regular TP-288 service. After receiving instructions from the Tower controller, the pilots entered the runway at the “E” intersection and began acceleration for takeoff.

A few seconds later, the commander observed the end of the runway approaching much sooner than expected. With a speed of 147 knots, the jet still could not take off. It was then that the pilot commanded full thrust on the aircraft, allowing for faster acceleration and for the plane to leave the ground at 163 knots, at the last second before crossing the runway.

kicking up dust

Flight attendants reported to investigators that they saw, through the windows, dust being raised at the head of the runway after the aircraft left the ground. The same observation was confirmed by the control tower. After that, the crew continued the flight to Lisbon without any other problems.

Photo: Luanda Airport – Google Maps


The Portuguese authority – GPIAA – reported that the investigation is still ongoing, but that it was possible to identify that the pilots incorrectly consideredin your takeoff calculationswho would have the entire runway to take off, when in fact they had to enter through the “E” intersection, since the rest of the runway was closed.

Due to the incorrect parameter, they did not put the full power for the start, since, as they considered that they would have all 3,700 meters, a power of 85% would be enough to reach the necessary speed to leave the ground. However, with 1,000 meters less available, it would be impossible to lift the aircraft’s 191,000 kilograms taking off from the intersection without increased power.

The investigative process continues. This case will result in recommendations from the Portuguese regulator, when completed.


About Abhishek Pratap

Food maven. Unapologetic travel fanatic. MCU's fan. Infuriatingly humble creator. Award-winning pop culture ninja.

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