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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 174597
Last updated: 10 September 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic B738 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 737-809 (WL)
Owner/operator:China Airlines
Registration: B-18601
MSN: 28402/113
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 163
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Minor
Location:470 km NW of Bangkok Airport -   Thailand
Phase: En route
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Yangon-Mingaladon Airport (RGN/VYYY)
Destination airport:Taipei-Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE/RCTP)
On 11 April, 2014, China Airlines, flight CI 7916, a B737-800 aircraft, registration number B-18601, departed from Yangon to Taipei. At 12:44 Taipei time, at cruise altitude of 37,000 ft, cabin crew smelled something burning near the ceiling at 1L door and electric arc and smoke were observed. After applying with a fire extinguisher, the flight diverted to Bangkok. There were 155 passengers and 8 flight crew on board and the flight landed safely at Bangkok airport at 14:43 Taipei time.

Findings related to probable causes:

1) There were existing compression situation of forward galley 2 electric wire and the ceiling panel, the normal operation vibration caused the wire rubbing against the ceiling panel. The exposed conducting wire inside the electric wire and graphite fibers inside the ceiling panel rubbing against each other caused short circuit happened between the left side panel and the metal beam. The electric circuit from conducting wire to the right hand side then to the left hand side metal beam panel, the electric circuit formed a short circuit to ground and caused the cabin electric arcing.

2) There are 2 probable causes regarding to the situation of the compression between the forward galley 2 electric wire and the ceiling panel.
2A) When the aircraft was shop out 16 years ago, the forward galley 2 wire had compressed to the ceiling panel, however, the occurrence did not occur due to the wire wrap was the close type; 8 years ago, the wire wrap was changed to open type when the mechanic re-installed the clamp and wire in accordance with Engineering Order (EO) instruction, at the time the wire had compressed to the ceiling panel directly. The vibration of normal operation caused the electric wire to rubbing against the ceiling panel. The conducting wire inside the electric wire and graphite fibers inside the ceiling panel was exposed and compressed each other.
2B) China Airlines did not train the mechanic regarding the positioning marking before remove and reinstall the components when the aircraft was shop out; consequently, the mechanic did not perform positioning marking when the EO was performed 8 years ago. The EO content also did not include the positioning marking step which caused the clamp was installed onto the fore side of the fastener mistakenly lead the wire compressed to the ceiling panel.



Photo of B-18601 courtesy

Fukuoka (RJFF / FUK)
13 November 2013; (c) Danny Grew

Revision history:

16-Mar-2015 21:21 harro Added

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