Flight to Luton almost overshot runway during takeoff, report finds

An easyJet plane flying over Luton
An easyJet plane flying over Luton

An easyJet flight to Luton was just seconds away from running out of tarmac during takeoff, investigators have found.

A report of the incident, which occurred at Belfast Aldergrove Airport last June, states that the pilots unknowingly used takeoff data for the wrong runway, causing them to run out of tarmac far sooner than expected.

The end of the runway became visible when the plane was travelling at 132mph, forcing the pilot to go ahead with takeoff as there was not enough room to stop.

The Airbus A319-111, which was carrying 156 passengers and six crew members, became airborne with just 200 metres of runway left.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) has said that if the takeoff had not been aborted the aircraft may have overshot the runway while travelling at 86mph.

The report added that initiatives have been launched to “consider and address the safety risks posed by using erroneous takeoff performance parameters.”

An easyJet spokesperson said: “(Our) specialist team conducted a thorough safety investigation, in consultation with the AAIB, and as a result it made a recommendation to its internal procedures.”