French Bee Airbus A350 Loses Speed And Altitude During Go Around

A French Bee Airbus A350-900 lost speed and altitude during a go-around while trying to land in Paris on February 4th, 2020. The aircraft, registration number F-HREV operating as flight number BF-711 from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Paris Orly Airport (ORY), was on final approach when the incident occurred.

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Wind shear forced a French Bee A350 to perform a go-around at Orly. Photo: Dylan Agbagni Wikimedia Commons

According to The Aviation Herald, the aircraft was making its final approach into Orly Airport’s runway number 25 when the crew initiated a go-around.

The aircraft landed safely 15 minutes later

As the aircraft was descending through 900 feet it suffered a wind shear event that made the pilots decided to abort the landing and perform a go-around for a second attempt. As the aircraft attempted to climb to 5,000 feet above mean sea level (MSL) it suddenly saw a reduction in speed and descended to 2,500 feet.

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When the plane reached 1,200 feet MSL, the aircraft had accelerated to a speed of 290 knots over ground. The aircraft regained altitude and made a successful second approach landing 15 minutes later on runway 25 following the go-around incident.

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During their report of the incident released on February 21st, 2020, the Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses pour la Sécurité de l’Aviation Civile (BEA) said:

“During the approach to runway 25, the crew went around due to wind shear. During the missed approach procedure, deviations in heading and altitude are observed and the low-speed alarm is triggered. The crew made a new approach and landed without any particular event.”

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Planespotters lists the aircraft involved in the incident F-HREV as being leased from AerCap and delivered to French Bee in March of 2018.

What is wind shear?

The term wind shear refers to a change in wind speed or wind direction in the atmosphere.

With regards to aircraft, wind shear is used to describe a rapid change in wind speed or direction that causes an aircraft to lose lift and thus altitude.

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French Bee A350s have 411 seats. Photo: ERIC SALARD via Flickr

While wind shear is always present in the atmosphere, it can be particularly bad during storms and weather fronts. Wind shear is also necessary to form hail storms and tornados.

In order to warn pilots of wind shear dangers, many airports have installed instrumentation at the ends of runways that lets pilots know when it is too dangerous to land.

Recently, in the United Kingdom, Storm Ciara and Storm Dennis were responsible for excessive wind shear that forced many a go-around as can be seen in the video below.

Who is French Bee?

Many people will be unfamiliar with this Paris, Orly-based low-cost long-haul airline that operates a network of scheduled leisure flights from France. Operating a fleet of all-Airbus aircraft French Bee flies to French Polynesia, the Caribbean, and San Francisco and will commence flights to Newark (EWR) in June of 2020.

The airline’s philosophy is simple. First, buy or lease the most fuel-efficient aircraft you can find. Then, jam it full of seats that you know you can sell at very low prices while still making a profit.

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Fly Bee to fly to Newark from Paris for 131€. Photo: ERIC SALARD via Flickr

An example of this is that French Bee is advertising flights from Paris to Newark for 131€ each way. Currently, the French carrier operates a fleet of three Airbus A350-900s with 411 seats; as a stark comparison, Qatar Airways only puts 283 seats in its A350s.

Still, a round trip ticket from Europe to New York for 262€ is pretty hard to beat and should prove to be quite popular.

If you have flown on French Bee we would love to hear what you think of the airline in the comments section.

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Flemming Stücker

Accordingly to seat gure the 350-900 has 359 seat.
https://www.seatguru.com/airlines/French_bee_Airlines/information.php

Jack

This A350 has 411 PAX LOPA. Information is correct

anon

Sounds like a stall, they were fortunate to have some altitude. A heavy airplane, maxed out on payload doesn’t help.

Karl Buder

We recently flew French Bee from SFO to Papeete Tahiti in Premium Economy and my wife and I had a great experience both flights!

Trent

I think this article missed the main story….the altitude loss. The aircraft lost half its altitude! What happened?

Nancy Pelosi's Bartender

Sounds like an interface issues between the pilot and 250 with regards to losing half the altitude. Could be a potential safety issue with the 350.

Hein Vandenbergh

Sadly the video has little if anything to do with windshear, it’s all about a pre-existing and KNOWN crosswind component. Windshear is invisible and takes one by surprise. Also the comment “flapping wings” on the video is just sooo unprofessional. We really have to do better next time, hey?

NarrowBodyCmd

Windshear is something fairly common in the training patterns and a favorite in the simulators for examiners. Shear warning is a mandatory GA. The loss of t****t seems attributable to the aircraft moving out of normal law, (i am unsure of FrenchBee’s SOP) The PF would have disconnected the A/p… Read more »

Thiag Kumaraswamy

I have flown from Paris to reunion with the whole family despite some bad reviews in internet about FrenchBee. I was with my whole family (2kids), luggage and food, drinks, snacks comes on top of the flight ticket, which is fine, as one dont eat and drink for everything they… Read more »

Joe Gallagher

Which airport has that rollercoaster runway?

Bobdc6

Looks like the pilots flew it by the book, nice job!