A320 -- The Nosegear Problem...

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Latest Incident One Of Seven

While last week's A320-stuck-nosegear incident attracted nonstop (some might say breathless, excessive and overblown) live TV coverage, it was hardly an unprecedented event. It's happened at least six times before to Airbus aircraft, and each time the pilots made safe landings and nobody was hurt. Considering that about 2,500 A320s are flying, the number of incidents is not of concern, FAA spokesman Greg Martin told The Associated Press last week. Records show that previous problems were blamed on a software glitch, on aging O-ring seals, on a malfunctioning landing-gear control-interface unit, and on an improperly installed shock absorber, according to the Los Angeles Daily News. The FAA also was told in 1999 that the braking-and-steering control unit could rotate the nose wheels if the valve to which the O-ring is attached fails, the AP reported. AVweb previously reported on a similar incident that happened at O'Hare in November 2002. The FAA issued an Airworthiness Directive in December 1999 that required operators to fix possible faults with O-ring seals in the landing-gear steering module.