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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 207772
Last updated: 3 September 2019
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Date:30-MAR-2017
Time:10:14 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic A319 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Airbus A319-111
Owner/operator:easyJet Switzerland
Registration: HB-JYK
C/n / msn: 4705
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 158
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: None
Category:Serious incident
Location:15 NM NW of Thessaloniki International Airport (SKG/LGTS) -   Greece
Phase: En route
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Thessaloniki International Airport (SKG/LGTS) [SX]
Destination airport:Basel/Mulhouse/Freiburg EuroAirport (BSL/LFSB)
Investigating agency: STSB Switzerland
Narrative:
Following the preceding flight from Basel (BSL) to Thessaloniki (SKG), the Senior Cabin Crew Member (SCCM) informed the flight crew of a brief observation of both haze and fumes, noticeable in the cabin upon landing. The cabin crew thought it was associated with the hard braking.
After engine start all indications were normal and no fumes were observed. During taxi to runway 34, with the air conditioning pack (PACK) number 2 selected OFF, in accordance with the company’s Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), the SCCM was asked again for any signs of fumes or smoke, neither of which was observed.
After take-off from runway 34 at 08:11 UTC the flight crew switched on the air conditioning pack and cleaned up the aircraft without event. When passing through 7000 ft AMSL, approximately 3 minutes after take-off the flight crew noticed a strong stench, similar to that of a dirty oven. Upon inquiry, the SCCM confirmed that the oven was not on and the smell was also noticeable in the front galley. Subsequently, the flight crew informed the SCCM, that the aircraft would return to Thessaloniki and that the flight crew would don oxygen masks, so that the SCCM would be mentally prepared for possible impaired communication.
Reaching flight level (FL) 100 the flight crew levelled off the aircraft and initiated the emergency procedure for smoke and fumes, including donning oxygen masks. Accordingly, they sent a Pan Pan at 08:15 UTC, followed by a Mayday call 30 seconds later, stating their intention to divert the flight back to Thessaloniki.
Whilst the First Officer (FO), acting as Pilot Flying (PF), initiated the descent in a left turn towards Thessaloniki with request for an ILS approach under radar vectors to runway 16, the Commander (CMD), acting as Pilot Monitoring (PM), consulted the Quick Reference Handbook (QRH) for the "SMOKE/FUMES/AVNCS SMOKE" procedure and completed the immediate actions, before contacting the SCCM again, to check on the situation in the cabin and requested that she make a passenger announcement. Since she confirmed that the situation was unchanged, the PM continued the paragraph of the procedure with regards to the air conditioning system and switched off the PACK 1. Upon inquiry, the SCCM confirmed that the situation improved. Accordingly, the PM stopped the procedure and assisted in the diversion to Thessaloniki.
Moments later, the SCCM called the flight deck and informed them that the smell was still there and that some of the cabin crew were getting headaches. The PM subsequently resumed the procedure. Given the time remaining, he completed the paragraph for air conditioning smoke and started with the smoke removal procedure. This included switching off both PACKs, opening the outflow control valve by bringing the manual vertical speed switch of the cabin altitude in the full up position and opening the ram air supply, upon confirmation from the PF, for fresh ambient air.
With the aircraft established on final approach at a distance of about 8 NM from touchdown the CMD took over the controls. He ordered the FO, now PM, to perform the overweight landing checklist, which was completed before the aircraft reached 1000 ft above aerodrome elevation (AAE). With a landing mass of 60.8 tons (maximum landing mass being 61 tons), the aircraft touched down at 08:24:54 UTC on runway 16 without event.
Once the cabin door was opened, the fire brigade completed a short check to see if there were any signs of fire or smoke on board, which was not the case. A doctor boarded the aircraft to see if anybody needed medical attention, but nobody asked for medical treatment. Thereafter, the aircraft was disembarked and handed over to maintenance for trouble-shooting.
On the ferry flight back to Basel (LFSB) the next day, the cabin crew in the rear cabin noticed the same smell for about 15 seconds being even stronger than on the incident flight. The flight crew did not notice any smoke, haze or fumes in the cockpit during the flight.

Given the fact that no fume events have reoccurred since the replacement of the avionics blower fan assembly, it can be concluded that the fumes noticed by the crew came from the failed unit as stated in the PFR, although no failure was found during the following shop inspection.

The avionics blower fan was identified as the root cause in many other fume events, thereby, leading to a set of measures already adopted by Airbus to further increase its reliability and mitigate operational impact.

Sources:

STSB

Accident investigation:
cover
  
Investigating agency: STSB Switzerland
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 11 months
Download report: Final report


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
17-Mar-2018 20:36 harro Added
17-Mar-2018 20:36 harro Updated [Country]

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