An Azul Linhas Aereas Airbus A330-200 was climbing out of Viracopos Airport when the crew found that both autopilot systems were inoperable. The aircraft registered as PR-AIZ was performing flight AD-8704 from Sao Paulo Viracopos, SP (Brazil) to Fort Lauderdale, FL (USA). The crew stopped the climb at FL260 due to the failure of both autopilots and decided to return to Viracopos. The aircraft landed safely back about one hour after departure.
A passenger reported, during the acceleration for takeoff, there were very strong vibrations for about 5 seconds. The aircraft continued the takeoff. About 6 minutes into the flight the passenger felt a sensation as if the aircraft lowered its nose and turned right. Then suddenly returned to normal.
About another 10 minutes later the captain announced they would return to Viracopos due to both autopilots having failed. The aircraft remained on the ground for about 2.5 hours. The aircraft departed again and reached Fort Lauderdale with a delay of 2:15 hours.
Passengers reported after landing in Fort Lauderdale the captain indicated the strong vibrations that had occurred during the first takeoff run were caused by low tyre pressure in the nose gear. The maintenance crew were told to correct the tyre pressure while the autopilot systems were being checked.
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