Jetblue E190 at Kingston on Mar 31st 2014, smoke in cockpit

Last Update: June 22, 2020 / 21:11:50 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Mar 31, 2014



Flight number

Aircraft Registration

Aircraft Type
Embraer ERJ-190

ICAO Type Designator

A Jetblue Embraer ERJ-190, registration N267JB performing flight B6-876 from Kingston (Jamaica) to Fort Lauderdale,FL (USA) with 98 passengers, was climbing out of KIngston when smoke in the cockpit prompted the crew to return to Kingston, where the aircraft landed safely about 15 minutes after departure. 6 passengers received injuries.

The airline confirmed smell of smoke on board of the aircraft, 6 passengers received medical assistance after landing.

The FAA reported 6 passengers received injuries following smoke in the cockpit.

The source of the smoke is under investigation.

Jamaica's Airport Authority reported they are investigating whether the smoke came from one of the engines or air conditioning systems. One of the passengers received a leg fracture while exiting the aircraft.

On Jun 22nd 2020 reader Hanayo made us aware the final report by Jamaica's CAA had surfaced at Brazil's CENIPA, the report released following findings:

1. The flight crew were licensed and qualified for the flight in accordance with existing regulations.

2. The flight attendants were trained and qualified in accordance with existing regulations.

3. The 2R door remained closed and was not used during the passenger evacuation. The flight attendant assigned to position number 2, at the rear of the aircraft, stated that it was not safely possible for her to open 2R, as there were too many people coming at her and if she let go of the 'assist handle' she would have been pushed out of the aircraft.

4. The maintenance records indicated that the aircraft was equipped and maintained in accordance with existing regulations and approved procedures.

5. The mass and center of gravity of the aircraft were within the prescribed limits; however the aircraft landed over the maximum certificated landing weight by 647 lbs.

6. There were seven previous instances where the left air cycle machine (ACM) was replaced due to smoke or burning smell on this aircraft since entry into service.

7. The connectors for the left pack outlet sensor and the condenser inlet temperature sensor were found to be cross connected.

8. A thorough examination of the aircraft on the ground revealed no evidence of soot at or around the air outlets in the cockpit or cabin.

9. Operational tests conducted on the ground of the air-condition system using the engines and the APU did not duplicate what was reported by the flight crew.

10. The left Air Cycle Machine was removed from the aircraft and sent for teardown inspection at the component manufacturer and the inspection confirmed that the unit had failed.

11. The training records for the Air Traffic Control Officers (ATCOs) who were on duty did not show that recurrent training in normal and emergency procedures had been conducted in accordance with Civil Aviation Regulations.

12. The ATCOs at the NMIA Aerodrome Control Tower were using a document containing emergency procedures in response to aviation emergencies which had been withdrawn since 2006. The Aerodrome Control Tower did not have current emergency response documentation.

13. The Air Traffic Service did not have a current copy ofthe NMIAL Emergency Response Plan.

14. There was no Aerodrome Grid Map displayed in the tower cab, as required by Civil Aviation Regulations.

15. The Norman Manley International Airports Limited did not possess an Aerodrome Operator's Certificated at the time of the accident.

16. The NMIAL Emergency Response Plan was not approved by the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority.

17. There was no evidence that the NMIAL ARFF personnel training had been
conducted as a part of a formalized training programme.

18. There was no evidence that the NMIAL Operations personnel training had been conducted as a part of a formalized training programme.

19. There was no evidence of consistent meetings of the Aerodrome Emergency Committee, which was required to be established under Civil Aviation Regulations.

20. The National Disaster Action Plan for Jamaica-Part 3 - Appendix 5 to Annex A transport accident or incident (sea)- did not include the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) as a primary, secondary or support agency for an accident or incident at sea.

21. The National Disaster Action Plan for Jamaica was not structured to give a clear demarcation of "on" and "off'' airport boundaries and did not define jurisdictions in the event of an off-airport accident which would inform how response procedures for each agency would be designated.

The CAA reported the sequence of events:

The aircraft was cleared to flight level three four zero (FL340) proceeding north towards the boundary with Havana and was about to contact Havana Control when the smell of smoke was detected by the cockpit crew and after some discussion the decision was made to return to MKJP.

At approximately 18:53 JB876 declared an emergency to air traffic control (A TC), Kingston Centre Radar (KIN RADAR).

KIN RADAR advised JB876 to stop his climb at flight level two three zero (FL230) and cleared JB876 to turn left, when ready, and proceed direct to KEYNO (south towards Kingston).

The captain elected to hand over pilot flying duties to the first officer in order to give his attention to the overall management of the situation. Both pilots put on their oxygen masks, and begun the descent and preparations to return to MKJP, including reprograming the flight management system (FMS), beginning the quick reference handbook (QRH) 'Cockpit /Cabin Smoke /Fumes' procedure as well as completing the normal procedures and checks.

Meanwhile A TC informed the Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting services (ARFF), referred to by Norman Manley International Airports Limited (NMIAL) as Airport Protection Services (APS), that JB876 had declared an emergency and would be returning to MKJP, due to smoke in the cockpit. A ' Full Emergency' was immediately declared with APS. NMIAL Operations was notified thereafter.

The crew continued their descent and approach to MKJP, prepared for landing, and made the decision to evacuate the aircraft on the runway.

At approximately 18:55 local time, KIN RADAR instructed JB876 to switch to VHF frequency 120.6 MHz and to continue with MANLEY APPROACH.

The crew, both cockpit and cabin, were busy preparing for the unscheduled landing, continuing to discuss the presence of smoke in the aircraft and confirming the decision to carry out an evacuation of the aircraft. They continued their communication with MANLEY APPROACH, receiving the hand-off to MANLEY TOWER at 19:03 local.

The captain called the tower at 19:04 local, reporting on a 10 mile final for Runway MKJP and received landing clearance. The tower advised him that emergency equipment was standing by. The captain and crew continued to discuss and brief on the pending 'emergency landing' while flying the approach into MKJP.

One passenger received serious, 5 other passengers minor injuries.

The CAA analysed:

The cross connection of the Pack Outlet Temperature Sensor and the Condenser Inlet Temperature Sensor may have resulted in the Air Management System (AMS) controlling the condenser to run hotter than normal. This would explain the excessive moisture as the condenser functionality would be affected. The excessive moisture may have caused ice to form on the Air Cycle Machine (ACM) turbine causing vibrations due to imbalance and eventual premature failure of the ACM. The metal to metal contact of the rotating parts accompanied by the overheat condition may have given off a burning smell in the air leaving this ACM. This burning smell coupled with the heavy mist/moisture was probably what caused the flight crew to conclude that there was smoke in the cockpit, with the possibility ofthere being a fire.


The fact that that the left air cycle machine was replaced twelve times within a seven year period along with five reports of smoke being observed in the cabin or cockpit prior to this event should have warranted further investigation and analysis of this problem.
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Mar 31, 2014



Flight number

Aircraft Registration

Aircraft Type
Embraer ERJ-190

ICAO Type Designator

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