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Thursday, 6 October 2011

Airbus Updates No.462

Accident: Lufthansa A346 near Gander on Oct 2nd 2011, turbulence injures 11

By Simon Hradecky, created Monday, Oct 3rd 2011 10:23Z, last updated Monday, Oct 3rd 2011 10:54Z
A Lufthansa Airbus A340-600, registration D-AIHC performing flight LH-429 from Charlotte,NC (USA) to Munich (Germany) with 245 passengers and 18 crew, was enroute at FL370 about 200nm north of Gander,NL (Canada) around 00:50Z Oct 3rd when the aircraft experienced turbulence causing injuries to 11 people aboard. The crew decided to turn around and divert to Boston,MA (USA) for a safe landing 2:40 hours later.

The aircraft continued the journey after 105 minutes on the ground and is estimated to reach Munich with a delay of 5 hours.

Boston Airport handled another turbulence flight the same day causing 7 more injuries, see
Accident: Jetblue A320 over Atlantic on Oct 2nd 2011, turbulence injures 7. The extent of the injuries on board of the Lufthansa flight wasn't known.

Accident: Jetblue A320 over Atlantic on Oct 2nd 2011, turbulence injures 7
By Simon Hradecky, created Monday, Oct 3rd 2011 10:53Z, last updated Monday, Oct 3rd 2011 10:54Z
A Jetblue Airbus A320-200, registration N563JB performing flight B6-852 from San Juan (Puerto Rico) to Boston,MA (USA) with 130 passengers and 5 crew, was enroute at FL360 about 420nm north of San Juan about one hour into the flight (around 23:40Z) when the aircraft experienced about 5 minutes of turbulence with one serious up- and downdraft causing altitude deviations of about 200 feet and injuries to 7 passengers. The aircraft continued for a safe landing in Boston about 2 hours later.

Boston Airport reported 6 of the injured received head, neck and back injuries, one received burns from coffee. 3 of the injured refused medical treatment.

About 90 minutes after landing another flight reached Boston on diversion due to turbulence, see:
Accident: Lufthansa A346 near Gander on Oct 2nd 2011, turbulence injures 11.

Incident: Austrian A321 near Vienna on Oct 3rd 2011, engine trouble
By Simon Hradecky, created Monday, Oct 3rd 2011 15:26Z, last updated Monday, Oct 3rd 2011 15:26Z
An Austrian Airlines Airbus A321-100, registration OE-LBB performing flight OS-831 from Vienna (Austria) to Larnaca (Cyprus), was climbing through FL230 about 80nm east of Vienna and 30nm west of Budapest when the crew reported engine (CFM56) trouble and decided to return to Vienna. The aircraft landed safely on Vienna's runway 29 about 45 minutes after departure.

A replacement Airbus A321-100 registration OE-LBC reached Larnaca with a delay of 3 hours.

Incident: Delta A332 near New York on Oct 1st 2011, bird strike
By Simon Hradecky, created Monday, Oct 3rd 2011 16:37Z, last updated Monday, Oct 3rd 2011 16:37Z
A Delta Airlines Airbus A330-200, registration N860NW performing flight DL-73 from Istanbul (Turkey) to New York JFK,NY (USA), was on approach to New York when a bird impacted the left hand wing near the engine. The aircraft continued for a safe landing on runway 31L.

The FAA reported the aircraft received minor damage.
Accident: Air Berlin A332 near New York and Berlin on Sep 25th and Sep 26th 2011, odour causes all crew feel unwell
By Simon Hradecky, created Monday, Oct 3rd 2011 15:06Z, last updated Tuesday, Oct 4th 2011 19:36Z
An Air Berlin Airbus A330-200, registration D-ALPI performing flight AB-7249 from New York JFK,NY (USA) to Berlin Tegel (Germany) with 254 passengers and 10 crew, was climbing through 2500 feet out of New York when an unusual odour of wet pullovers was observed in the cockpit and cabin, especially in the forward area of the cockpit. The crew identified the smell as oil fumes and continued the climb to FL380 where the odour reduced to bearable intensity. Several cabin crew reported headache resulting from the fumes, cockpit crew members complained about dizziness and tumb fingers causing difficulty to operate the MCDU. Medical services contacted via radio refused service arguing the oil fumes event was "political" because of the involved TCP ("TriCresyl Phosphate") problems. After monitoring the oil consumption over the first 4 hours of the flight the crew identified a loss of 4 quarts of oil for the left hand engine (PW4168) with the right hand engine's oil consumption remaining normal. During the approach to Berlin, while descending through FL070 the smell increased in intensity again. The aircraft continued for a safe landing on Tegel's runway 26R about 7 hours after departure from New York. The purser received serious injuries.

All flight and cabin crew delivered blood samples. The purser was in hospital care for more than 2 days. The flight crew complains about lasting impact on their health like dizziness and tumb fingers.

Maintenance reported the carbon seals at the left engine's spinner were leaking substantial amounts of oil.

Germany's Civil Aviation Authority (LBA) reported they received an occurrence report by Air Berlin and are investigating.

Germany's Bureau for Aviation Accident Investigation (BFU) confirmed the BFU have initiated an investigation.

Air Berlin confirmed that the flight experienced short term odours during climb and descent, which were noticed by both cockpit and cabin crew but dissipated quickly. The airline is currently not able to provide further details due to the ongoing investigation.

In a new statement Air Berlin reported on Oct 4th, that an occurrence report was immediately submitted to the LBA. The airline did not see any necessity to submit a report to the BFU arguing the events did not constitute a serious incident, however, submitted a report on Sep 28th stating they wanted authorities have the final assessment. Immediately after landing the members of the crew received medical care and were examined by "Berufsgenossenschaftlicher und Arbeitsmedizinischer Dienst" (BAD - trade associations' and industrial medical service), who did not find a causal link between the odour and the symptoms suffered by the members of the crew. The purser, who had been submitted to hospital care, was released with normal values in the meantime. The technical logs showed, that the oil consumption of the left engine was well below limits, nonetheless, the engine was replaced without technical necessity.

A similiar occurrence spanning multiple flights had occurred with another Air Berlin A332 earlier this year, see
Incident: Air Berlin A332 at Bangkok on Apr 11th 2011, departed with engine required to be changed, Incident: Air Berlin A332 near Munich on Apr 9th 2011, strong smell of oil on board and Incident: Air Berlin A332 near Munich on Apr 8th 2011, smell of oil on board.

The theory, that oil fumes by the nature of the ingredient TriCresyl Phosphate entering the cabin through the bleed air system may cause toxic symptoms (named Aerotoxic Syndrome), has been consequently denied by the industry over decades arguing that no scientific evidence of a causal link between TCP and the Aerotoxic Syndrome could be produced. In the recent years scientific studies however proved a causal link between TCP in form of oil fumes via bleed air and the Aerotoxic Syndrome. These results led to a court verdict in Australia in 2010 awarding compensation to a flight attendant, who had been exposed to fumes leading to an Aerotoxic Syndrome. The results of this recent scientific research are currently being discussed in the national parliaments of a number of countries with the expectation of rules changing.

Additional filters for the bleed air systems promising to substantially reduce oil fumes are available, these filters however have not been applied to Air Berlin's aircraft as of current.

Newest aircraft designs, for example the
Boeing 787, no longer supply the cabin air conditioning systems with engine bleed air.
Incident: Delta A333 enroute on Oct 4th 2011, unruly passenger
By Simon Hradecky, created Wednesday, Oct 5th 2011 09:15Z, last updated Wednesday, Oct 5th 2011 09:16Z
A Delta Airlines Airbus A330-300, registration N820NW performing flight DL-235 from Amsterdam (Netherlands) to Detroit,MI (USA) with 194 passengers and 11 crew, was enroute about 3 hours prior to estimated arrival when an obviously intoxicated male passenger became more and more belligerent before starting to shout. The man finally shouted "Hijack" prompting cabin crew assisted by air marshals to subdue and handcuff the man, who continued to yell until landing. The aircraft continued to Detroit for a safe landing where the unruly was taken into custody by police.

The airline reported the male passenger had become disruptive and quickly restrained.

Federal Officers reported the passenger appeared extremely intoxicated and belligerent.

A passenger reported the unruly wanted to provoke a brawl calling the seat neighbours quite some names and asking them to punch him, later called "Hijack" and wanted people shoot him just before he was restrained. The unruly kept yelling until after landing.


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