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Accident description
Last updated: 21 October 2017
Status:Final
Date:Thursday 4 October 2007
Time:10:50
Type:Silhouette image of generic A333 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Airbus A330-322
Operator:LTU
Registration: D-AERK
C/n / msn: 120
First flight: 1996-02-13 (11 years 8 months)
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney PW4168
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 11
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 114
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 125
Airplane damage: Substantial
Airplane fate: Repaired
Location:over Düsseldorf-Dormagen (   Germany)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Düsseldorf International Airport (DUS/EDDL), Germany
Destination airport:Thessaloniki International Airport (SKG/LGTS), Greece
Narrative:
An Airbus A330-322 passenger plane, D-AERK, sustained substantial damage when it lost engine cowlings after takeoff from Düsseldorf International Airport (DUS).
The airplane landed safely back at Düsseldorf and no one was injured.
The A330 had departed Düsseldorf on a flight to Thessaloniki International Airport (SKG), Greece. It was climbing through FL105 when the crew heard a loud bang, followed by some unusual noises. The crew then checked the locking of the doors and hatches but found no problems. Since no errors were detected by the aircraft monitoring system (ECAM) the flight continued. Shortly afterwards a cabin crew member reported the loss of a large part of the engine cowling of the left engine.
The crew then decided to cancel the flight and return to Düsseldorf. The crew did not declare an emergency. The aircraft landed without further problems in Düsseldorf. At the parking position fuel was seen leaking from the left wing because of hole in the underside of the wing. Further damage was caused to the belly fairing and underlying structure and hydraulics.

Probable Cause:

CONCLUSIONS:
The accident was due to the fact that the front two or all three of the cowling latches were not properly closed. Contributing to the accident, was that the warning color on the handles was worn.
There was no evidence of a structural failure of the composite cladding.

Accident investigation:
cover
Investigating agency: BFU Germany
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 5 years and 2 months
Accident number: BFU 1X002-07
Download report: Final report

Classification:

Forced landing on runway

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Map
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Düsseldorf International Airport to Thessaloniki International Airport as the crow flies is 1714 km (1071 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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