TransAsia A320 enroute on Jul 24th 2016, scorching water
Last Update: December 12, 2017 / 19:19:47 GMT/Zulu time
The aircraft remained on the ground for 22 hours, then resumed service.
Taiwan's ASC opened an investigation requesting FDR, CVR recordings, crew statements and the water heater from the airline.
In July 2017 the ASC released their final report in Chinese concluding the probable causes of the incident were:
The water heater emanating smoke was primarily caused by the thin external conductors of the water heater printed circuit board PCB resulting in a higher resistance and heat generation, and manually correction of the misaligned Faston connectors after wave soldering process may make flawed connection. The combination of higher resistance and flawed connection could have made the PCB accumulating high temperature then resulting in heat damage and smoke under normal operation.
The ASC reported following safety action was taken: "The water heater manufacturer, B/E Aerospace Inc., released a service information letter, No. H0212-25-0245, on February 28, 2017, with title of "ADDITIONAL INSPECTION INSTRUCTION FOR POWER MODULE ASSEMBLY". The letter indicated if the bad contact occurred at some specific connectors on power module assembly, this could cause arcing and possible overheating. All applicable units including the occurrence water heater type DR4101, the power module assembly must be examined at the next available shop visit. If the discolored marks are found, the power module must be replaced according to component maintenance manual."
On Dec 12th 2017 the Dutch Safety Board (Onderzoeksraad, DSB) reported, that they joined the investigation led by the ASC because the water heater in question was Dutch manufacture and stated:
The Airbus A320, with a crew of eight and 99 passengers on board, was flying from Taichung International Airport (Taiwan) to Macau International Airport (Macau). During the climb a water heater in the rear galley began to dissipate smoke and a burning smell. The cabin crew switched off power to the galley and used a halon fire extinguisher on the area they suspected that the smoke was coming from. They then pulled all of the galley equipment circuit breakers. The smoke stopped and the burning smell disappeared. The crew decided to continue their flight towards their destination, where the aircraft made an uneventful landing.
An investigation carried out by the manufacturer of the water heater revealed that the smoke had been generated by thin external conductors on the printed circuit board (PCB), which had increased their electrical resistance and consequently generated more heat. They also discovered that a Faston connector had been incorrectly aligned for soldering during fabrication process and had later been modified by hand. It is possible that this connector did not make a good connection. The combination of the increased resistance and poor connection made it possible that a high temperature developed on the PCB, coupled with smoke emission and a burning smell.
This article is published under license from Avherald.com. © of text by Avherald.com.
Read unlimited articles and receive our daily update briefing. Gain better insights into what is happening in commercial aviation safety.
Support AeroInside by sending a small tip amount.
A TransAsia Airbus A330-300, registration B-22103 performing flight GE-606 from Taipei (Taiwan) to Tokyo Narita (Japan) with 171 people on board, was…
Transasia AT72 at Taipei on Feb 4th 2015, right engine failed, left engine shut down, aircraft rolled sharply and lost height shortly after takeoff
Taiwan's ASC have released their final report in Chinese and executive summary in English (On Jul 1st 2016 the full english report was released too)…
On Jan 29th 2016 the ASC released their final report, the first time ever in English (requiring some praise), concluding the probable causes of the…
A Transasia Avions de Transport Regional ATR-72-500, registration B-22811 performing flight GE-505 from Taipei Songshan to Makung (Taiwan) with 22…
A Transasia Airways Avions de Transport Regional ATR-72-212A (-500), registration B-22806 performing flight GE-5042 from Makung to Taipei Songshan…
A Lufthansa Boeing 747-8, registration D-ABYD performing flight LH-431 from Chicago O'Hare,IL (USA) to Frankfurt/Main (Germany), was climbing out of…
An Air Transat Airbus A321-200N, registration C-GOIF performing flight TS-233 from Faro (Portugal) to Toronto,ON (Canada) with 148 people on board,…
Are you researching aviation incidents? Get access to AeroInside Insights, unlimited read access and receive the daily newsletter.Pick your plan and subscribe
A new way to document and demonstrate airworthiness compliance and aircraft value. Find out more.
ELITE Simulation Solutions is a leading global provider of Flight Simulation Training Devices, IFR training software as well as flight controls and related services. Find out more.
Never miss an article from AeroInside. Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter and join 5470 existing subscribers.
Popular aircraftAirbus A320
Boeing 737-800 MAX
Popular airlinesAmerican Airlines