Bulgarian Charter A320 near Bratislava and Sofia on Sep 9th 2017, engine trouble, FADEC trouble and shut down
Last Update: December 16, 2018 / 18:08:47 GMT/Zulu time
Date of incident
Sep 9, 2017
Bulgarian Air Charter
ICAO Type Designator
The Bulgarian AAIU rated the occurrence a serious incident and opened an investigation.
Bulgaria's AAIU released their final report concluding the probable causes of the serious incident were:
The prime cause:
Failure of the FADEC control system of No 2 engine.
The main cause:
Fault of electrical system of the Fuel Metering Unit (FMU) caused by a short circuit or loss/interruption of the electrical signal to the Fuel Metering Valve (FMV).
The AAIU reported that during initial climb out of Bratislava, before reaching 1500 feet AGL, a message "ENG1/ENG2 FADEC" was displayed in the cockpit, however, did not require any action, the message was not confirmed until after the end of the flight. At the same time the EEC2 (right hand) BITE recorded a message "73-22-52 FMU/HC/EEC2", which was directly linked to the problem of the occurrence flight.
Shortly after levelling off at FL330 the crew received a "ENG2 FUEL CTL FAULT-ENG2 Low Fuel Flow" message. 7 minutes later "the FADEC system, due to its inability to maintain the set operating mode, automatically drove the engine into "Fail Safe Condition" by thrusting it to “IDLE” according to the current conditions. The corresponding failure message "ENG 2 FAIL" was issued in the cockpit." The crew assessed the situation and decided in view of the time to continue to Sofia and the available fuel on board to continue to Sofia at FL250. The AAIU wrote: "The decision to continue the flight without shutting down the engine was taken because the air bleeding from this engine (10th Stage Engine Bleed) was still possible, which would relieve the load of the healthy No1 engine during the rest of the flight."
While on a stabilized final approach to Sofia's runway 27 the crew received a "ENG 2 FADEC ALTERNATOR" ECAM message associated with the loss of N2 and an increase of EGT beyond limits, the crew shut the right hand engine down at 1100 feet AGL, the aircraft continued for a landing without further incident.
The aircraft had undergone a paint job at Bratislava.
The AAIU analysed:
An integral part of the fuel metering unit FMU is the Fuel Metering Valve (FMV). In the fuel stream after Fuel Metering Valve two more electronic valves are installed, respectively an Overspeed Valve and Pressurizing and Shut Off Valve (PRSOV), which definitely have worked normally. The whole unit is of a closed type, no set points, adjustments, and it works on the principal "As is"; in case of problem it shall be explicitly removed and replaced as a whole (LRU - Line Replaceable Unit), which excludes the possibility of any human interference by the technical staff. The failure is internal, purely technical.
The take off and climbing of the aircraft up to an altitude of 33000ft passed without any deviation in the parameters of the two engines. After leveling off at FL330, the crew received a warning message on the ECAM display: „ENG2 FUEL FLOW LOW“ and the No.2 engine remained operational at “IDLE” mode with normal parameters and minimum fuel supply. The flight crew reported to the ATS for the minimum trust of one engine. The flight crew started up APU and descended (in coordination with Budapest ATC) to FL250. The APU was started up in order to ensure a backup source of electrical power and air in case of possible escalating of the problem to a complete loss of power of this engine. After discussing the situation, weather conditions along the route and the main and alternate airports, available fuel on board, and the available and required length of the RWY with one engine, the flight crew decided to continue the flight to Sofia. The A/C commander said if the operational parameters of No.2 engine would go close to the limits, the engine would be shut off. After overfly of navigation point GOL the ATCO-APP vectored the crew for an ILS approach for RWY 27. The approach of the aircraft to Sofia Airport was stabilized at an altitude of about 1500ft. Subsequently the flight crew received a new warning message on the ECAM display "ENG 2 FADEC ALTERNATOR". The PM reported for disappearance of the N1 and N2 readings of engine No2 and increasing of the temperature of the exhaust gas (EGT) to critical values. Upon reaching EGT = 624°C, by a command of the A/C commander No.2 engine was shut down by the PM. The descent was performed according to the criteria of stabilized approach, the landing was normal, with registered vertical overload Ny = 1.25 g.
In view of the above, the Safety Investigation Commission accepted the actions of the crew at the time of the occurrence were correct.
Date of incident
Sep 9, 2017
Bulgarian Air Charter
ICAO Type Designator
This article is published under license from Avherald.com. © of text by Avherald.com.
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