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Difference between revisions of "Cabin Fumes from Non-Fire Sources"

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The majority of passenger aircraft utilise [[Bleed Air Leaks|bleed air]] from the engine or [[APU]] to pressurize and heat or cool the aircraft cabin.  As a consequence, any contaminants introduced into the engine/APU compressor prior to the point from which the bleed air is extracted may result in the appearance of corresponding fumes in the passenger cabin and flight deck.
 
The majority of passenger aircraft utilise [[Bleed Air Leaks|bleed air]] from the engine or [[APU]] to pressurize and heat or cool the aircraft cabin.  As a consequence, any contaminants introduced into the engine/APU compressor prior to the point from which the bleed air is extracted may result in the appearance of corresponding fumes in the passenger cabin and flight deck.
 
==Accidents and Incidents==
 
*[[A319, Belfast Aldergrove UK, 2011]]  - the investigation attributed the occurrence of fumes to the continued use of reverse idle thrust after clearing the runway onto a little used taxiway where the quantity of de-ice fluid residue was much greater than on the runway.
 
*[[A320, en-route, Kalmar County Sweden, 2009]] - the aircraft was de-iced inappropriately prior to departure and fumes entered the air conditioning system via the APU.
 
*[[A332, Karachi Pakistan, 2014]] - a hydraulic system fault was annunciated and soon afterwards, dense hydraulic mist entered both the passenger cabin and the flight deck via the aircraft air conditioning system.
 
*[[A332, vicinity Perth Australia, 2014]] - it was found that the rear pressure bulkhead insulation had not been correctly refitted following maintenance and had collapsed into and came into contact with APU bleed air duct.
 
*[[A333, en-route, near Bournemouth UK, 2012]] - the smoke warnings had all been false and had mainly come from one faulty detector.
 
*[[A388, en-route, north east of Singapore, 2011]] - investigation found signs of burning below the toilet floor and it was concluded that excessive current caused by a short circuit which had resulted from a degraded cable had been the likely cause, with over current protection limiting the damage caused by overheating.
 
*[[B738, Glasgow UK, 2012]] - excess moisture in the air conditioning system was considered likely to have been a factor.
 
*[[B744, Phoenix USA, 2009]] - detailed engineering investigation both before and after a ferry flight to the Operator’s maintenance base was unable to establish any source or explanation for the fumes / smoke.
 
*[[B752, en-route, North Sea, 2006]] - the cause was determined to be a fractured bearing floating seal ring, which had allowed engine oil to leak into the compressor airflow path and to be ingested into the bleed air system, which provides air to the cabin air conditioning system.
 
*[[B773, Paris CDG France, 2013]] - a fault in the APU had caused the smoke and fumes which had the potential to be toxic.
 
*[[DH8D, en route, west-northwest of Dublin Ireland, 2015]] - debris from a fractured bearing washer had compromised engine oil seals leading to fumes/smoke entering the aircraft through the air conditioning system.
 
  
 
==Accidents and Incidents==
 
==Accidents and Incidents==

Revision as of 09:50, 24 July 2018

Non Combustion-related Fumes


Article Information
Category: Fire Smoke and Fumes Fire Smoke and Fumes
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Description

Fumes from various non-fire related sources may sometimes be experienced within the cabins of passenger aircraft.

Sources

Most modern passenger aircraft are equipped with pressurised, climate controlled, cabins. In spite of the aircraft designers’ intentions, unwanted fumes frequently permeate the interior of the aircraft. Open doors and hatches as well as certain on-board sources can introduce fumes to the cabin environment. However the usual path of entry for fumes is via the aircraft pressurisation and air conditioning systems.

The majority of passenger aircraft utilise bleed air from the engine or Auxiliary Power Unit to pressurize and heat or cool the aircraft cabin. As a consequence, any contaminants introduced into the engine/APU compressor prior to the point from which the bleed air is extracted may result in the appearance of corresponding fumes in the passenger cabin and flight deck.

Accidents and Incidents

Cabin air contamination

  • DC93, en-route, Cincinnati OH USA, 1983 (On 2 June 1983, a DC9 aircraft operated by Air Canada was destroyed following an in-flight fire which began in one of the aircraft’s toilets. 23 passengers died in the accident.)
  • A333, London Heathrow UK, 2016 (On 26 June 2016, thick white smoke suddenly appeared in the cabin of a fully loaded Airbus A330-300 prior to engine start with the door used for boarding still connected to the air bridge. An emergency evacuation initiated by cabin crew was accomplished without injury although amidst some confusion due to a brief conflict between flight crew and cabin crew instructions. The Investigation found that the smoke had been caused when an APU seal failed and hot oil entered the bleed air supply and pyrolysed. Safety Recommendations in respect of both crew communication and procedures and APU auto-shutdown were made.)
  • E190, en-route, southwest of Turku Finland, 2017 (On 3 December 2017, an Embraer E190 en-route at FL310 was already turning back to Helsinki because of a burning smell in the flight deck when smoke in the cabin was followed by smoke in the flight deck. A MAYDAY was declared to ATC reporting “fire on board” and their suggested diversion to Turku was accepted. The situation initially improved but worsened after landing prompting a precautionary emergency evacuation. The Investigation subsequently attributed the smoke to a malfunctioning air cycle machine. Issues with inaccessible cabin crew smoke hoods and with the conduct and aftermath of the evacuation were also identified.)
  • A320, vicinity Dublin Ireland, 2015 (On 3 October 2015, an Airbus A320 which had just taken off from Dublin experienced fumes from the air conditioning system in both flight deck and cabin. A 'PAN' was declared and the aircraft returned with both pilots making precautionary use of their oxygen masks. The Investigation found that routine engine pressure washes carried out prior to departure have been incorrectly performed and a contaminant was introduced into the bleed air supply to the air conditioning system as a result. The context for the error was found to be the absence of any engine wash procedure training for the Operator's engineers.)
  • B763, Montreal Quebec Canada, 2013 (On 4 November 2013, smoke began to appear in the passenger cabin of a Boeing 767 which had just begun disembarking its 243 passengers via an airbridge after arriving at Montreal. The source was found to be a belt loader in position at the rear of the aircraft which had caught fire. Emergency evacuation using the airbridge only was ordered by the aircraft commander but cabin conditions led to other exits being used too. The fire was caused by a fuel leak and absence of an emergency stop button had prevented it being extinguished until the airport fire service arrived.)

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