3 JUNE 2013
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The knock-on effect of the British Airways Airbus A320 BA 762 (G-EUOE) incident at Heathrow on Friday 24 May (see BTN 27 May) seems to be growing. The British Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB), based at Farnborough, has issued a ‘special’ notice suggesting to Airbus that it formerly notifies aircraft operators of problems associated with the engine cowlings.
Flight deck crew are bound to take a visual inspection of the aircraft prior to a first flight of the day or at a turnaround but this is unlikely to show up what appears to have been a mistake during routine maintenance. The US National Transportation Safety Board has also got involved as the engines are American assembled. It issued a report claiming that one engine was shut down and the other was on fire, described by an AAIB spokesman as “misleading”. It was later withdrawn. It does appear that the broken cowling damaged the fuel line causing a fire, which may have not been contained.
The AAIB report confirms that a “Mayday” was declared by the crew but as yet the time that the plane was in the air does not appear to have been published. BA and others have issued statements complimenting the aircrew on their actions. The full AAIB account is some way away. www.aaib.gov.uk
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