There is a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) team on its way to investigate an incident involving a United Airbus passenger jet in New Orleans.
The safety agency says that on 4 April 2011, at about 7:25 a.m. CDT, an Airbus 320-232 (N409UA), serial number 462, with 109 passengers and crew aboard, operating as United Airlines flight 497, exited the left side of runway 19 at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY). The aircraft had returned to the airport about 20 minutes after take-off due to electrical difficulties and smoke in the cockpit.
According to the NTSB, preliminary information indicates that while climbing through 4,000 feet, the crew reportedly received automated warnings and detected smoke in the cockpit. A loss of primary instrumentation was also reported during the event. The crew indicated that they initiated emergency procedures and turned back to the airport. Upon landing, the crew described a loss of anti-skid braking and nose-wheel steering and exited the runway approximately 2,000 feet from the approach threshold.
The passengers and crew exited the airplane via slides. It was reported that the right forward slide did not inflate. There were no reported injuries. Initial information is that the airplane had minor damage, but it will be examined by NTSB investigators after defueling and recovery.
Among the parties joining the investigation are the Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses (BEA) of the Government of France along with technical advisers from Airbus.