Pilots of an EasyJet Airbus A320-two hundred climbing out from Edinburgh, Scotland, on a flight to Hamburg, Germany, in 2016 donned their oxygen masks and declared an crisis just after an acrid electrical odor permeated the cockpit and entered the cabin.
The plane, which was flying on the afternoon of Nov. 28, 2016, diverted to Newcastle, England. The pilots were being capable to land safely as soon as the smoke had cleared, a new report by the UK’s Air Incident Investigation Department (AAIB) demonstrates. None of the 172 passengers and six crewmembers were being wounded.
The culprit—a defective capacitor in the electronics bay under the cockpit floor—turned out to be the root trigger of two earlier static inverter failures for EasyJet. The first was in August 2014, followed by a further in January 2015. The static inverters, typical products on the A320 considering that 1999, supply electrical power to 3 electrical outlets in the cockpit. Pilots can use the outlets for charging digital flight luggage and other products. The failure was narrowed down to just one capacitor that was overheating and failing. The problematic aspect had not been given a qualified “quality screening prior to fitment,” in accordance to the AAIB.
What EasyJet did not know at the time was that Airbus had been informed of a broader difficulty with the capacitors. There had been 8 earlier failures, 7 of which had caused diversions. 8 months previously, the airframer had issued a fairly benign complex abide by-up (TFU) notification that does not have to have any operator action. 1 month in advance of the incident, the inverter’s producer issued a Vendor Support Bulletin (VSB), alerting clients that it would fix the problematic inverters for totally free.
EasyJet, having said that, was not informed of either bulletin. For the reason that TFUs were being not obligatory and despatched to aid airways boost plane operation, the provider did not incorporate the notifications in its upkeep management software package, AMOS. What AMOS did import were being additional urgent alerts, including airworthiness directives from regulators, company bulletins (SB) and Operator Information Transmissions (OIT) from Airbus. Because no abide by-up actions were being needed for the TFU, EasyJet “did not perform common evaluations of TFUs as aspect of its airworthiness control procedures,” the AAIB claimed.