Report: B737-800 rejected takeoff after V1

The Dutch Safety Board published the findings of their investigtion into a serious incident at Eindhoven Airport when the takeoff was rejected after the takeoff decision speed (V1).The Boeing 737-800 operated by Ryanair was taking off from runway 04 on the 4th of June 2010 at Eindhoven Airport, the Netherlands. At the time of rotating the aircraft to takeoff, the pilot flying decided to reject the takeoff because he believed the aircraft was unsafe to fly. The decision to reject was made after the takeoff decision speed (V1). The pilot performed a so-called high speed rejected takeoff.

The aircraft was halted before the end of the runway and the aircraft was subsequently taxied back to the terminal. The aircraft sustained no damage and no passengers or crew were injured.

The Safety Board concluded:
During the takeoff at Eindhoven airport the pilot flying perceived two control issues and one speed trend vector anomaly.

  • The explanation for the control issues and speed trend vector anomaly was likely related to an outside atmospheric phenomenon. The origin of this atmospheric phenomenon could not be determined or explained with the information available.

The takeoff was rejected after the decision speed V1 and while the nose wheel was off the ground for approximately two seconds.

  • The First Officer who was the pilot flying considered the control and speed trend vector problems to be serious enough and decided to reject the takeoff.
  • According to company procedures only the Captain is authorized to make a rejected takeoff decision.
  • To reject a takeoff above V1, especially when the nose wheel is off the ground, is in principle considered to be improper and unsafe.

There is no specific guidance from the operator or manufacturer on dealing with control issues at the time of rotating the aircraft.

  • Specific guidance on rejecting a takeoff exist in case of an engine failure.
  • Review of past statistics and studies show that pilot training and requirements focus on rejected takeoffs due to an engine failure. Studies and statistical information show that this accountsbfor less than 25% of the reasons for rejected takeoffs. Thus 75% of the reasons the reject a takeoff is not trained for.
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