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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 180479
Last updated: 25 September 2017
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Date:16-OCT-2015
Time:20:47 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic A320 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Airbus A320-232 (WL)
Owner/operator:Tigerair
Registration: 9V-TRH
C/n / msn: 5496
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 178
Other fatalities:0
Airplane damage: Minor
Category:Serious incident
Location:Singapore-Changi International Airport (SIN/WSSS) -   Singapore
Phase: Take off
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Singapore-Changi International Airport (SIN/WSSS)
Destination airport:Chennai Airport (MAA/VOMM)
Investigating agency: TSIB Singapore
Narrative:
Tigerair flight TR2638 to Chennai, India was forced to return to Singapore-Changi Airport after the crew was advised that the cowling doors of the aircraft's left engine had fallen off.
On 15 October 2015, the day before the incident, the aircraft had completed a prior flight and was parked at Bay 702 at Singapore Changi Airport for Base Layover (BLO) maintenance. The BLO involved a BLO technician checking the oil level of the integrated drive generator (IDG) of the left and right engines. According to the BLO technician, he checked the right engine IDG first. He lifted the outboard fan cowl on the IDG side to visually sight the oil level before closing it. He proceeded to check the left engine. He closed the fan cowls of the left engine and fastened the latches of the fan cowls after checking the IDGs. He said he was not interrupted while closing the fan cowls.
Before signing off the BLO technician's work, the Licensed Aircraft Engineer (LAE) in charge of the BLO performed a walkaround check. As part of the walkaround, the LAE looked at the sides of the fan cowl, he checked that there were no gaps between the surfaces of the fan cowl and the engine nacelle which, from his experience, would indicate an unfastened fan cowl condition. He mentioned that he would normally also squat down and extend his hand to reach under the fan cowl to feel if the latches were secured.
However, he did not do so this time. The BLO LAE ended his walkaround check at the front of the aircraft near the nose landing gear. According to the BLO LAE, while in a squatting position at the front of the aircraft, he inspected visually the engines from his position and he did not notice any protrusion of unfastened latches.
The BLO was completed by 03:00 hrs on 16 October 2015 and the aircraft remained at Bay 702 until its next flight.
At 19:00 hrs, the aircraft was towed to the departure gate to prepare for passenger boarding. The aircraft arrived at the departure gate at 19:25 hrs. The flight crew was already waiting at the gate and boarded the aircraft when it arrived. The aircraft was scheduled to depart at 20:10 hrs.
The Departure LAE in charge of the departure check arrived at 19:40 hrs, having just completed a departure job at another gate. The Departure LAE performed a walkaround check prior to releasing the aircraft for departure.
According to the Departure LAE, he did not squat to sight the condition of the fan cowl latches. He said that he observed the engines from the nose wheel location and did not notice any protrusions at the bottom of the fan cowl which he said would indicate unfastened latches.
During preparation for departure, the First Officer (FO) said he performed a walkaround check as required by company procedures. He visually inspected the engines from two positions (from the main landing gear and from the outboard side of the engine). Accordingly to the FO, he stood at these positions and looked downwards at the fan cowls but he did not bend down or squat to check. He did not notice any latch protrusions. Looking at the sides of the engine, the FO also checked that the fan cowl surfaces were flush with that of the engine nacelle and that there was no gap.
The Captain later also decided to perform a walkaround check of the aircraft. However, he only had time to look at the front cargo door and aft cargo hold areas. He did not notice any abnormality in these areas.
The aircraft took off at 20:47 hrs. During the take-off, the Cabin crew-in charge (CIC) was alerted by a passenger that the left engine fan cowl had fallen off. The CIC made a visual confirmation and immediately informed the flight crew through the interphone.
The flight crew checked and noted that all cockpit panel parameters were normal, although a fault message from the Landing Gear Control Interface Unit (LGCIU) No.2 was received during take-off. The Captain asked the CIC to reconfirm what she saw. The CIC reported back that the interior of the engine was visible.
The flight crew levelled the aircraft off in a holding pattern at 8,000ft and the Captain stepped out of the cockpit to assess the damage. He observed that the left engine fan cowls were missing and there was no visible damage to the surrounding wing area. He noted that the right engine fan cowls were intact.
The Captain returned to the cockpit and he decided to return to Changi Airport. When the landing gears were selected down during the approach to land, a Master Warning came on, indicating that the left main landing gear was not downlocked. The flight crew discontinued the landing, informed Air Traffic Control (ATC) of the situation and requested to return to holding for troubleshooting actions.
The flight crew cycled the landing gears and performed the manual gravity extension procedure to extend the landing gears, but the Master Warning remained on. The flight crew declared Mayday and remained in the holding pattern to burn off excess fuel to reduce the aircraft landing weight.
Later, the flight crew performed a low fly-past, and engineers on the ground reported that the left main landing gear appeared to be down. Subsequently the aircraft landed at 23:18 hrs without incident. There was no injury to any person in this incident.

Sources:

http://www.flightradar24.com/data/flights/tr2638/#7b81140

Safety recommendations:

Safety recommendation RA-2017-028 issued by TSIB Singapore to TigerAir
Safety recommendation RA-2017-029 issued by TSIB Singapore to
Safety recommendation RA-2017-030 issued by TSIB Singapore to Airbus

Accident investigation:
cover
Investigating agency: TSIB Singapore
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 10 months
Accident number: AIB/AAI/CAS.117
Download report: Final report

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
18-Oct-2015 07:20 harro Added
18-Oct-2015 17:35 Aerossurance Updated [Date, Time, Embed code]
23-Aug-2017 19:37 harro Updated [Total fatalities, Source, Narrative]
23-Aug-2017 19:40 harro Updated [Time]

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