BAW A388 at Johannesburg on Jul 12th 2023, smoke in cockpit and cabin
Last Update: October 9, 2023 / 19:23:42 GMT/Zulu time
According to information The Aviation Herald received the occurrence was a "fume event". A number of members of the crew were complaining about dizziness and nausea and were sent to be assessed at a hospital. The aircraft had had a fuel leak about one week prior to that occurrence.
Passengers reported there was a burning odour in the cabin that became stronger and stronger, the crew told them about a hydraulics and landing gear problem.
Another passenger reported later that there had been smoke in the cabin obviously due to a fire/fault in the cabin, the flight crew instructed cabin crew to prepare for immediate landing, hence cabin crew did not attend to passengers. The passenger observed a trail of vapour of the wing tips, obviously the aircraft was dumping fuel. After landing the aircraft remained on the runway for a long time - during that time the people in the cabin began to feel unwell and hot due to lack of oxygen/air conditioning.
The aircraft remained on the ground in Johannesburg for about 30 hours, then departed for the flight again as flight BA-56D and reached London with a delay of about 30:20 hours.
On Jul 21st 2023 South Africa's CAA reported the occurrence was rated a serious incident and is being investigated. The crew declared Mayday, Mayday, Mayday reporting smoke in cockpit and cabin and requested an immediate descent to 10,000 feet.
On Oct 9th 2023 the SACAA released their preliminary report providing the following abstract of the occurrence:
On Wednesday evening, 12 July 2023, an Airbus A380-841 with registration G-XLEH was engaged in flight BA56 from O.R. Tambo International Aerodrome (FAOR), South Africa, to London Heathrow International Aerodrome (EGLL), United Kingdom. Twenty-four (24) crew members and 429 passengers were on-board the aircraft. The aircraft took off from Runway 03L at 1747Z. Approximately 120 nautical miles (nm) to the north of FAOR whilst climbing through 25 170 feet, the crew declared a Mayday due to an acrid burning smell and haze in the cockpit and cabin areas. The crew immediately commenced a descent to 10 000 feet to return to FAOR.
Approximately 47 minutes after take-off, the aircraft landed on Runway 21R. The aircraft came to a stop on the runway and the crew shut down the engines. The Aerodrome Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) personnel inspected the aircraft for signs of external damage, and none were found. One of the passengers was not feeling well and was attended to by the emergency medical personnel, whilst the remainder of the passengers and the crew were unharmed.
This article is published under license from Avherald.com. © of text by Avherald.com.
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