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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 158245
Last updated: 25 March 2017
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Date:12-AUG-2013
Time:18:34
Type:Silhouette image of generic A320 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Airbus A320-214
Owner/operator:easyJet
Registration: G-EZTC
C/n / msn: 4234
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 175
Other fatalities:0
Airplane damage: Minor
Category:Incident
Location:Milan-Malpensa Airport (MXP) -   Italy
Phase: Take off
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Milan-Malpensa Airport (MXP)
Destination airport:Lisbon (LIS)
Investigating agency: Agenzia Nazionale per la Sicurezza del Volo (ANSV) - Italy
Narrative:
EasyJet flight EZY2715 returned to the departure airport, Milan-Malpensa Airport (MXP) in Italy when the it lost parts of the nr.1 engine cowling on takeoff.
The flight took off from runway 35R at 18:17 hours local time.
A few seconds after take-off, the pilot of an aircraft on the ground radioed that the easyJet flight had just taken off with open engine cowlings on engine no.1. The commander of G-EZTC was also informed of the situation by the cabin crew, who had heard an unusual noise during take-off and had been alerted by some passengers, who had observed the separation of the left engine cowling.
The crew informed air traffic control that it was returning to Malpensa, asking for priority landing. The aircraft landed on runway 35L at 16:33 using overweight landing procedures. In the deceleration the crew used maximum reverse thrust on both engines. During the landing further cowling parts detached from the engine. Two-thirds of both the inner and the outer cowling on engine no.1 had separated.

CAUSE (translated from Italian):
The cause of the accident was mainly due the human factor.
In particular, the opening of the cowling of the left side engine depended on the failure to close the same, because the maintenance operations were carried out without consulting the relevant technical documentation. The technician who performed the maintenance failed to consult the applicable technical documents and consequently failed to follow instructions causing the engine cowlings to be opened and then not closed and locked. Also contributing was an inefficient pre-flight external inspection that was carried out by aircraft commander.

Contributing factors:
- The shape of the engine cowlings latches did not facilitate the inspections to check the actual closing and the locking of the cowlings. In particular, the cowling locking system is constituted by latches which are located on the bottom center of the engine nacelle, hardly visible. The cowlings have, also, a symmetry for which, even if not locked, they recline almost fully and do not indicate an open condition.
- The procedures and the safety policy of AMO contained in the MOE: these policies and procedures did not show properly, the need to perform the work with application of the relevant documentation, as required by Part 145, where it is stated that the technical documentation for maintenance must be followed precisely and must be present in the immediate vicinity of the aircraft on which is being worked.
- The absence of signs / warning on the ECAM related to the condition of incorrect locking of the closing of the cowling system.

Finally, one can not exclude that fatigue of the maintenance technician and the commander may have contributed, in an environment characterized by high outside temperature.
The concentration level of the maintenance technician may have also influenced the fact that he was almost finished with the last scheduled service of the scheduled four working days.

Sources:

http://www.ansv.it/It/Detail_relazioni.asp?ID=2020
Other Airbus incidents involving loss of engine cowling(s)

Safety recommendations:

Safety recommendation 13/1656-13/1/A/16 issued 7 December 2016 by ANSV to EASA
Safety recommendation 14/1656-13/2/A/16 issued 7 December 2016 by ANSV to EASA

Official accident investigation report
cover
investigating agency: Agenzia Nazionale per la Sicurezza del Volo (ANSV) - Italy
report status: Final
report number: Final report
report released:7 December 2016
duration of investigation: 3 years and 4 months
download report: Final report

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
13-Aug-2013 17:12 harro Added
13-Aug-2013 17:15 harro Updated [Cn, Embed code]
13-Aug-2013 17:18 harro Updated [Time, Phase, Embed code, Narrative]
13-Aug-2013 17:24 harro Updated [Total fatalities, Narrative]
07-Dec-2016 20:04 harro Updated [Source]
07-Dec-2016 20:54 harro Updated [Total fatalities, Narrative]
10-Dec-2016 15:35 harro Updated [Narrative]
10-Dec-2016 15:46 harro Updated [Source]

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