Airbus A321 Stalling on Autopilot

Hi everyone,

I just tried to do a flight from Manchester Airport to Mytilene Airport on the Island of Lesbos, Greece. Shortly after departing Manchester, whilst cruising on autopilot at 33000 ft, the aircraft hit turbulence. Instead of continuing to fly level, the aircraft began bobbing it’s nose up and down, becoming more severe each time. Eventually the aircraft stallled, and the autopilot disengaged, sending the aircraft into a steep dive. Had I not been near my tablet to recover from this, I would have crashed, receiving multiple overspeed violations in the process. I don’t know if this is a known issue, but it probably could have quite easily occurred later in the flight, and I would not have been able to recover. As with all my flights, I recorded the event, and despite being on timelapse mode, it shows what happened better than I can describe. I haven’t uploaded to YouTube yet, but I will. This isn’t likely to be a device issue, I restarted it before flight, and cleared all background apps. My device is a Samsung Galaxy Tab S3, running Android 7.0. If you need more info please ask and I will do my best to provide it.

Thanks, David

You were probably going too fast. What was your cruising speed in Mach?

I think the throttle was unable to keep up with the constant affect the wind had on the speed. Therefore it would either over accelerate or under accelerate and the speed would fluctuate a lot meaning the pitch too. And the speed eventually just got too low or pitch became to high.

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you probably were too heavy thus causing the stall and you werent going a proper speed for the altitude and so the turbulence and the slow speed caused you to stall

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I had the speed set to M 0.78. Cruising altitude was FL330.

Here’s my recording of the incident. It happens rather quickly near the end, but I’ve included the whole flight, so you can find any details which I may have missed.

What exactly are we suppose to ascertain from that? That doesn’t help much. My thoughts you where too slow, and heavy.

That happened to me actually! If you were trying to reach cruise level at mach 50 or 200 knots, that’s mainly the reason why. The air is thinner as you reach a higher altitude and you plane tends to slow down. I suggest try to speed up to mach 70 or 240 knots (before reaching 30,000 ft) as you climb. After that slowly reclaim your cruising speed

I was flying at M 0.78 during the ascent above roughly 13000ish, as well as cruise.

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Your weight was probably to heavy because of the “up-down” effect. This was also possible created by your VS was too high for your weight (try lower when you are heavy 1,200VS).
Just my thoughts

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What was it Mach .78 at FL330 or Mach .78 at 13,000 feet?

You need to speed up 280 KIAS or greater to Mach .84

The same thing happens to me all the time it’s so annoying

I recommend going 300-315kts after 10,000ft

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Do mach .80-.84 and it should not happen

As several others have already asked, how heavy were you? You have just over 15T of fuel onboard so that’s quite a lot already before you added passengers and cargo.

When I passed roughly 13000 ft I increased speed from 245 knots to 285 knots, then at 28000 ft, increased again to M0.78. I was comfortably cruising at that speed until i had stability issues.

Not necessarily in different weather conditions. I sped up to mach 90 and I stalled out on a 49 kt crosswind. I almost crashed if I sped up more

You’re going to slow right on the verge of a stall. Speed up to mach .82 on the low side.

That’s too fast 😂 .82-.87 aside from all this this series is known to have some A/P issues.


This is a known issue.