Close call: too many passengers seated in the front of the plane cause difficulties during takeoff

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TORONTO – A plane leaving London for Prague encountered difficulties during take-off after too many passengers sat in the front of the plane. According to a new report from the United Kingdom’s Air Accident Investigation Directorate (AAIB), a different plane was originally planned for the flight from Luton Airport to Prague Airport in January earlier this year. When the plane changed from a 180-seat Airbus A320 to a 230-seat A321, an email was prepared to notify Luton’s operational and passenger services, but was never sent due to a “Technical problem”.

As a result, people were seated on the new larger plane with the seating configuration of the smaller jet.

“This caused the aircraft to appear to the crew not responding to normal sidestick controls as expected due to forward travel during rotation. [centre of gravity]“, We read in the report.

On takeoff, the nose of the aircraft did not rise. The crew suspected that they had entered a “bad stabilizer setting” and the pilot engaged the thrust function to increase the pitch of the aircraft. “The aircraft responded and a climb began with the flight continuing to the intended destination,” the report continued.

At the start of the descent to Prague, the crew finally realized that the seating pattern of the passengers could have caused a nose problem. No other issues were reported during the flight and steps were taken to improve the “flow of information” when changes occur.

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