Computer-Related Incidents with Commercial Aircraft

The A330 Flight-Test Accident in Toulouse

30 June 1994

Synopsis An Airbus A330 aircraft on flight test in Toulouse crashed while performing an autopilot test during a maximum-performance go-around (in which the aircraft aborts an approach to landing and climbs away quicly into a holding pattern). The aircraft rolled sharply, and was not recovered by Airbus's chief test pilot in time to avoid hitting the ground. A very sad day.

Questions arose not only as to what the pilots had been doing, but also how they were aided or hindered by the design of the systems, including the cockpit interface and the behavior of the aircraft. The Rapport Préliminaire of the Commission d'Enquête is in French. The RISKS reports are:
A330 crash: Press Release by Peter Mellor;
Re: A330 crash by Curtis Jackson and Peter Ladkin;
A Correction ... by Peter Ladkin;
A330 crash investigation .... by Erik Hollnagel;
Some comments .... by Peter Ladkin.