British Airways A320 at Tenerife on Feb 7th 2020, fumes affect both flight crew

Last Update: May 25, 2020 / 17:14:54 GMT/Zulu time

Bookmark this article
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Feb 7, 2020

Classification
Accident

Flight number
BA-2702

Aircraft Registration
G-GATL

Aircraft Type
Airbus A320

ICAO Type Designator
A320

A British Airways Airbus A320-200, registration G-GATL performing flight BA-2702 from London Gatwick,EN (UK) to Tenerife Sur Sofia Reina,CI (Spain), was descending through about 10,000 feet towards Tenerife when the crew declared PAN reporting fumes on board. The aircraft continued for a safe landing on runway 07 with emergency services on standby.

The return flight BA-2703 was cancelled. The aircraft remained on the ground for about 30 hours, then positioned back to Gatwick as flight BA-9271. The aircraft remained on the ground in Gatwick for about 7 hours over night, then performed flight BA-2780 to Funchal and remained on the ground in Funchal for 24 hours before performing the return flight BA-2781 and continuing service.

The Aviation Herald received information that the aircraft had been assigned an ILS approach to runway 07 and was descending through about 10,000 feet when the captain noticed an unusual odour in the cockpit, the first officer confirmed smelling the odour, too, the odour quickly intensified. The first officer, pilot flying, donned his oxygen mask, while the captain decided to continue without the oxygen mask. The crew attempted to isolate the source of the fumes by turning off air conditioning pack #1. Although the airport is designated to be a "captain's landing only", the first officer continued to fly the approach while the captain declared PAN with ATC reporting fumes on board. The odour further intensified, the captain felt his eyes started stinging. The captain took control of the aircraft for the final stages of the landing following the first officer having flown the final approach. After landing the captain taxied the aircraft to the apron with emergency services in trail. After shutting down the conditions in the cockpit improved considerably when the cockpit door was opened, the odour was still present however. Both pilots looked extremely pale and had distorted perceiption of senses, both pilots thought they were much farther apart than they were, both felt dizzy and faint, both felt they had difficulties in thinking and developing clear thoughts, which made decision making much harder.

The crew requested an engineer to attend to the aircraft. The tech log had indicated a crew had heard a grating noise from the #1 engine (V2527, left hand) on Feb 6th 2020, the maintenance engineer suspected a loose bearing. The engineer responding to the captain's request on Feb 7th suspected the fumes were due to oil ingress into the left hand engine. After working for about 45 minutes the engineer was able to reproduce the odour, both pilots confirmed this was the same odour they had noticed in flight. The engineer grounded the aircraft.

Both pilots were told to visit the local hospital for blood and urine tests, the hospital however advised they did not have the relevant equipment to perform those tests. Feeling tired and fatigued the crew went to their hotel, the first officer started coughing up blood, the captain felt increasingly sick, The following day both crew consulted with Medaire.

The accident aircraft had gone through a similiar event about 3.5 months earlier, see Accident: British Airways A320 at Paphos on Oct 19th 2019, fumes in cockpit, both pilots partially incapacitated.
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Feb 7, 2020

Classification
Accident

Flight number
BA-2702

Aircraft Registration
G-GATL

Aircraft Type
Airbus A320

ICAO Type Designator
A320

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

You can read 4 more free articles without a subscription.

Subscribe now and continue reading without any limits!

Are you a subscriber?
Login
Subscribe

Read unlimited articles and receive our daily update briefing. Gain better insights into what is happening in commercial aviation safety.

Free newsletter

Want to know more and stay ahead? Get our free weekly newsletter and join 4844 existing subscribers.

By subscribing, you accept our terms and conditions and confirm that you've read our privacy policy.

Send tip

Support AeroInside by sending a small tip amount.

Related articles

Newest articles

Subscribe today

Are you researching aviation incidents? Get access to AeroInside Insights, unlimited read access and receive the daily newsletter.

Pick your plan and subscribe

Partner

Blockaviation logo

A new way to document and demonstrate airworthiness compliance and aircraft value. Find out more.

Virtual Speech logo

Train yourself online in VR with the special course for aviation: "Crisis Communications: Airlines". Find out more.

Get updates

Never miss an article from AeroInside. Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter and join 4844 existing subscribers.

By subscribing, you accept our terms and conditions and that you've read our privacy policy.

AeroInside Blog
Popular aircraft
Airbus A320
Boeing 737-800
Boeing 737-800 MAX
Popular airlines
American Airlines
United
Delta
Air Canada
Lufthansa
British Airways