Event Details

Title:Smoke emergency on climb, Fokker F 100, G-BXWF
Micro summary:This Fokker F.100 experienced a smoke emergency on climb, followed by a diversion.
Event Time:1999-11-17 at 1040 UTC
File Name:1999-11-17-UK.pdf
Publishing Agency:Aircraft Accident Investigation Board (AAIB)
Publishing Country:United Kingdom
Report number:EW/G99/11/10
Site of event:Climb
Departure:Nottingham East Midlands Airport, Leicestershire, England
Airplane Type(s):Fokker F 100
Flight Phase:Climb
Operator(s):BMI British Midland Airways
Type of flight:Revenue
Serious Injuries:0
Other Injuries:0
Executive Summary:Shortly after take off from East Midlands Airport, as the aircraft was climbing through about 4,000 feet, the crew heard a loud 'bang' and about 1 minute later smoke began to enter the flight deck. After checking with the cabin crew that the smoke was not associated with the galley, immediately aft of the flight deck, the crew concluded that the problem was probably related to the air conditioning system although the system indications appeared to be normal. A 'PAN' call was made by the commander with an accompanying request to divert to Birmingham.

During the ensuing descent towards Birmingham the smoke density appeared to fluctuate, but at no time did it compromise the crew's ability to see or operate their systems normally. An overweight landing was made without incident and by the time the aircraft had been parked there was only a slight smoke haze remaining on the flight deck. The passengers were disembarked normally.

Following the overweight landing check, an inspection of both left and right air-conditioning bays was made to ascertain whether there were any obvious indications of damage. None was found and so the auxiliary power unit (APU) was started and the air conditioning packs operated. Both appeared normal except that a large amount of water appeared to be coming from the left pack air cycle motor (ACM) drain. After shutting down the APU, the ACM was inspected and found to rotate freely. The coalescer bag from the water separator unit was found to be blackened and saturated, and the screen at the inlet from the cool air mixing inlet duct had ruptured. The left ducting was then re-instated and a similar inspection of the right pack was made, but no abnormalities were found. After the aircraft returned to its maintenance base the ACM, water separator and duct of the left air conditioning pack were replaced and sent to the manufacturer for examination. The aircraft subsequently operated without any further air conditioning faults.

Examination of the components by the manufacturer confirmed that the water separator assembly had a number of faults, including loss of a coupling nut which had rendered the coupling unserviceable. After disassembly it was also found that the by-pass valve had been unserviceable and that the condenser shell was corroded.
Learning Keywords:Operations - Bang, pop, crack, sizzle!
Operations - Cabin or Cockpit Smoke
Systems - Pneumatics - Air Conditioning Packs


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