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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 217670
Last updated: 3 December 2021
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Time:07:07 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic A320 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Airbus A320-232 (WL)
Registration: EC-MDZ
MSN: 6377
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 120
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Minor
Location:Bilbao Airport (BIO/LEBB) -   Spain
Phase: Take off
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Bilbao Airport (BIO/LEBB)
Destination airport:Barcelona-El Prat Josep Tarradellas Airport (BCN/LEBL)
Investigating agency: CIAIAC
Vueling flight VY1431, an Airbus A320-200, suffered the detachment of the two fan cowls of the no.1 (left) IAE V2527-A5 engine when taking off from runway 12 at Bilbao Airport in Spain.
The aircraft was making the first flight of the day, from Bilbao to Barcelona, with a total of 120 persons on board. On this flight, the first officer was the pilot flying and the captain was the pilot monitoring.
At the moment of rotation, the crew heard a different sound than usual, and seconds after takeoff, an ECAM LGCIU2 FAULT message was received. The crew carried out the relevant procedure and after analyzing the situation, they decided to continue the flight to Barcelona Airport, where they landed normally at 07:54 local time on runway 25R.
Once on the ground, the crew started receiving multiple ECAM messages. They continued taxiing to parking, where the passengers disembarked normally. It was then that they were informed that both fan cowls had detached from the left engine. Fragments from the cowls were found embedded in the left leg of the main landing gear.
The aircraft sustained minor damage, caused when the fan cowls impacted various parts of the airplane's structure. On the night of 24-25 October, maintenance work had been performed that required opening and closing the fan cowls on the airplane's left engine.

Causes/Contributing factors:
The investigation has determined that the incident was caused by flying the airplane without closing and properly latching the cowls on the airplane's left engine, which was in turn caused by an improper maintenance operation and by the incorrect performance of the walk-around check prior to the flight.
The following factors contributed to the incident:
- The improper performance of the maintenance task before the flight, after which the cowls were left open and unlatched, and without the relevant entries being made in the logbook documenting the opening and closing of the fan cowls on the left engine.
- The incomplete performance of the visual inspections before the flight, during which the fan cowls were not identified as not having been properly closed and latched.

This incident was one in over 40 fan cowl loss events involving Airbus A320-family aircraft since 1992. An EASA AD (2016-53) mandated the installation of a fan cowl pin and flag by 28 March 2019. This AD had not yet been implemented on EC-MDZ.


Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: CIAIAC
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 10 months
Download report: Final report


Photo of EC-MDZ courtesy

La Palma (GCLA / SPC)
18 July 2021; (c) Photography Jc la Palma

Revision history:

12-Nov-2018 20:57 harro Added
12-Nov-2018 21:02 harro Updated [Source, Narrative]
12-Nov-2018 21:03 harro Updated [Narrative]
13-Nov-2018 21:25 The Stig's German Co Updated [Narrative]
05-Sep-2020 09:21 harro Updated [Destination airport, Source, Narrative, Accident report, ]

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