Report: Premature thrust during rolling takeoff caused runway B737 excursion

According to a French investigation report, the runway excursion incident involving a Boeing 737 in August 2009 was caused by the premature application of thrust during a rolling takeoff.

On August 29, 2009 an Air Algérie Boeing 737-8D6 departed the right side of runway 36L at Lyon-Saint-Exupéry Airport (LYS/LFLL), France during takeoff. It rolled for about 250 meters on the grass verge alongside the runway. The aircraft joined the track after hitting a runway edge light and continued the takeoff.

On arrival in Sétif-Ain Arat Airport (QSF/DAAS), Algeria, minor damage was found on the right engine, the airframe and nose gear. There were 39 passengers and seven crew members on board.

The BEA report states: “The overrun is due to a non-compliance with the procedure of “rolling takeoff” by premature application of  takeoff thrust as the aircraft, light and with a rear centre of gravity, had not yet entered the runway. A possible tendency of the Pilot Flying to add thrust before the complete alignment of the aircraft on the centreline of the runway contributed to the occurrence of this serious incident.
The decision to continue the takeoff after having  returned to the track with a speed of less than V1, led the crew to continue the flight with a plane of which they did not know the extent of damage.”

Takeoff path on runway 36L

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