Lingus A332 at Dublin on Dec 28th 2017, engine shut down in flight

Last Update: April 4, 2019 / 18:17:05 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Dec 28, 2017

Classification
Incident

Airline
Aer Lingus

Flight number
EI-145

Aircraft Registration
EI-LAX

Aircraft Type
Airbus A330-200

ICAO Type Designator
A332

An Aer Lingus Airbus A330-200, registration EI-LAX performing flight EI-145 from Dublin (Ireland) to Los Angeles,CA (USA) with 262 passengers and 11 crew, was in the initial climb out of Dublin's runway 28 when the crew reported a fire indication on the right hand engine (CF6), stopped the climb at 5000 feet, worked the related checklists, shut the engine down and discharged a fire agent. The crew subsequently decided to divert to Shannon (Ireland) due to runway requirement. Tower reported he had observed smoke from the engine on departure. The aircraft climbed to 5000 feet for the diversion to Shannon. Shannon approach reported (Dublin) tower had observed no smoke whatsoever. The aircraft burned off fuel at 3000 feet and landed safely on Shannon's runway 06 about 50 minutes after departure and stopped on the runway, the crew advised again they had a fire indication on the right hand engine upon departure from Dublin. Emergency services found no evidence of fire, the aircraft taxied to the apron, where the passengers disembarked normally.

A video, that The Aviation Herald got to see on Dec 30th 2017, shows smoke was trailing the right hand engine during the initial climb out of Dublin.

On Jan 4th 2018 the AAIU reported the aircraft experienced an air duct failure on the right hand engine, the crew shut the engine down due to a fire warning. The aircraft diverted to and landed safely in Shannon. The occurrence was rated a serious incident and is being investigated by the AAIU.

On Apr 4th 2019 the AAIU released their final report concluding the probable causes of the serious incident were:

Probable Cause

Fatigue failure of the No. 2 engine’s 14th stage bleed air spacer, which allowed hot, high pressure bleed air to escape into the No. 2 engine compartment, resulting in a No.2 engine fire warning and the Flight Crew shutting down the No. 2 engine and diverting the flight.

Contributory Cause(s)

Metallurgical examination and analysis identified that abnormal loading conditions were the most likely cause of the fatigue cracking.

The AAIU summarized the event:

Just after take-off from Runway (RWY) 28 at Dublin Airport (EIDW), on a scheduled passenger flight to Los Angeles International Airport (KLAX), the Flight Crew of the Airbus A330 aircraft received a No. 2 (right-hand) engine fire (ENG 2 FIRE) warning, which required the No. 2 engine to be shut down. Following the shutdown, the fire warning ceased. The Flight Crew declared a MAYDAY (state of emergency) to Dublin Air Traffic Control (ATC) and also pressed the AGENT 1 pushbutton, thereby discharging an engine fire extinguisher into the engine compartment.

Following a review of the situation, the Flight Crew elected to proceed to Shannon Airport (EINN), which had a longer runway than those at EIDW. A holding pattern was entered near EINN to consume fuel and lighten the aircraft for landing. After approximately 20 minutes in the hold, an overweight landing was performed on RWY 06. The aircraft was brought to a stop on the runway, and was inspected by the Airport Fire Service (AFS), who advised that there was no apparent damage. The aircraft then taxied to its parking stand, where all passengers disembarked normally. No injuries were reported.

The ENG 2 FIRE warning was subsequently found to have been caused by hot, high pressure bleed air escaping into the No. 2 engine compartment as a result of the fatigue failure of a short section of No. 2 engine’s high pressure bleed air ducting.

The AAIU described the observed damage:

The AAIU inspected the aircraft at EINN. The spacer, which links the upper port of the No. 2 engine’s 14th stage bleed air outlet to the 14th stage bleed manifold, was found to be fractured at the recessed flange close to the clamp which secured the spacer to the bleed air outlet (Photo No. 3). This resulted in the engine compartment being exposed to high temperature (646o C)/high pressure (496 PSI) bleed air from the No. 2 engine’s 14th stage bleed air outlet, which caused heat damage to adjacent wiring looms.

The flange and coupling remained attached to the engine’s 14th stage bleed air outlet. However, the 14th stage manifold buckled, resulting in the coupling, which secured the other (main) portion of the fractured spacer to the manifold, becoming partially embedded in a flexible section of the engine’s main fuel feed line (Photo No. 4 and Photo No. 5). This caused damage to the fuel line (Photo No. 6 below and Section 1.7.8); however, the fuel line did not rupture and there was no fuel leak. Impact and heat damage to the engine cowlings were also evident. The pressure relief door on the right-hand aft engine cowling was found in the open position.

The AAIU analysed the cause of the spacer's fracture:

The spacer fractured at its recessed flange close to the coupling which secured it to the 14th stage upper bleed air outlet port of the No. 2 engine. The Engine Manufacturer’s metallurgical examination of the fractured spacer identified two main cracks, denoted as Crack A and Crack B (Section 1.7.2, Photo No. 12). Local discolouration was found outboard of the fracture surface of Crack A (Section 1.7.2, Photo No. 15), which was likely due to bleed air leakage as the crack propagated. Metallurgical examination of Crack A identified features consistent with high alternating stress crack propagation. Analysis of Crack B revealed features consistent with lower alternating stress, HCF crack propagation.

The AAIU continued to analyse several scenarios of how the spacer could have been exposed to the stress and then summarized:

The Investigation examined a number of potential causes for the fatigue failure of the spacer, including the indentations found on the spacer’s recessed flange; the age of the spacer; incorrect seating of the coupling which secured the spacer to the engine’s upper bleed port; incorrect torqueing of the coupling’s self-locking nut (under/over-tightening); misalignment of the 14th stage manifold; and incorrect adjustment of the TTU during engine installation.

Independent metallurgical examination identified that abnormal loading conditions were the “most likely cause of the fatigue cracking”. Possible causes of the abnormal loading include incorrect seating of the coupling, over-tightening of the coupling’s self-locking nut, or misalignment of the 14th stage manifold. While a definitive cause could not be established, several process improvements were implemented as a result of the Investigation. These are summarised below.
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Dec 28, 2017

Classification
Incident

Airline
Aer Lingus

Flight number
EI-145

Aircraft Registration
EI-LAX

Aircraft Type
Airbus A330-200

ICAO Type Designator
A332

This article is published under license from Avherald.com. © of text by Avherald.com.
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