Condor B763 near Sondrestrom on Jul 20th 2017, smell of smoke in cockpit
Last Update: March 9, 2018 / 15:15:34 GMT/Zulu time
A replacement Boeing 767-300 registration D-ABUA was dispatched from Frankfurt to Sondrestrom, resumed the flight and delivered the passengers to Las Vegas with a delay of 16 hours.
The occurrence aircraft departed Sondrestrom about 30.5 hours after landing to position back to Frankfurt, but needed to divert to Newcastle,EN (UK) reporting smoke in the cockpit while enroute at FL350 over the North Sea about 150nm northeast of Newcastle. The aircraft landed safely on Newcastle's runway 07 about 35 minutes later.
Following landing in Newcastle the aircraft remained on the ground in Newcastle for about 59.5 hours, then positioned back to Frankfurt/Main (Germany). The aircraft is still on the ground 7.5 hours after landing in Frankfurt.
On Aug 24th 2017 the Danish HCL reported that the occurrence has been rated a serious incident and is being investigated. While enroute at FL330 over Greenland the first officer noticed a strange smell like burning rubber from the right hand side of the cockpit. The odour slowly intensified and seemed to originate from the air outlet on the first officer's instrument panel. A cabin crew member was called to the cockpit and detected the odour, too, which was not present in the cabin. The flight crew consulted with maintenance over satellite phone. The odour intensified further, the crew therefore worked the checklist "Smoke, Fire or Fumes". About 30 minutes after the odour was detected the crew declared PAN and decided to divert to Sondrestrom about 330nm south of their present position. During the descent the crew donned their oxygen masks, completed the checklist and landed the aircraft safely. Emergency services checked the cabin and cockpit, subsequently commander and emergency services checked the avionics bay with no trace of fire, heat or smoke, the odour was noticeable only in the cockpit. A maintenance team was dispatched to Sondrestrom, examined the aircraft but could not find any technical issue with the aircraft, however, found some food residues left in a forward galley oven, which they concluded was the source of the smell.
On Dec 21st 2017 Germany's BFU released their July Bulletin reporting the aircraft was positioning back from Sondrestrom to Frankfurt when immediately after takeoff an unusual odour was noticed in the cockpit. About 1.5 hours into the flight smoke emanaged from the right hand side of the cockpit for a few minutes prompting the crew to divert to Newcastle. The aircraft received minor damage. The BFU is assisting the investgation foreign investigation body according to ICAO Annex 13.
On Mar 8th 2018 the British AAIB released their bulletin regarding the diversion on the positioning flight from Sondrestrom to Frankfurt, which diverted to Newcastle.
The AAIB reported that the odour on the flight from Frankfurt to Las Vegas had been attributed to a heavily contaminated oven in the forward galley, the aircraft was therefore released back to service and was to position back to Frankfurt with 8 crew. During the climb an unusual odour developed but dissipated hence the crew continued the flight. About 1.5 hours later the odour appeared again and remained. While the crew was discussing the odour the first officer noticed smoke coming from the area of the right hand windshield, the crew donned their oxygen masks, declared emergency and diverted to Newcastle.
The AAIB wrote:
Troubleshooting by the operator revealed that the right windscreen was damaged, its terminal block J5 and terminal lug were burnt and the cable loom was damaged. The aircraft was then ferried to Frankfurt, with the window heat isolated, so the damaged components could be replaced.
Following removal, the operator initiated a more detailed examination of the affected parts. It identified that the terminal lug was not parallel to the terminal block; this could allow the mounting screw to become loose, creating a high resistance connection with the potential for overheating. No reason for the incorrect alignment was identified.
This article is published under license from Avherald.com. © of text by Avherald.com.
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