Event Details

Title:Multiple system failures, Airbus A340-642, G-VATL
Micro summary:FMC failures, engine failure, and a possible fuel leak affected this Airbus A340 flight and ended up in the declaration of a Mayday.
Event Time:2005-02-08 at 0330 UTC
File Name:2005-02-08-UK.pdf
Publishing Agency:Aircraft Accident Investigation Board (AAIB)
Publishing Country:United Kingdom
Report number:EW/C2005/02/03
Site of event:Cruise
Departure:Hong Kong International Airport (Check Lap Kok Airport), Hong Kong, China
Destination:Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Airplane Type(s):Airbus A340-642
Flight Phase:Cruise
Operator(s):Virgin Atlantic
Type of flight:Revenue
Serious Injuries:0
Other Injuries:0
Executive Summary:The flight was scheduled to depart Hong Kong at 1535 hrs (2335 local) on 7 February with a scheduled arrival time at London Heathrow of 0450 hrs the next day. There was one relevant entry in the technical log prior to departure, both Fuel Control Monitoring Computers (FCMCs) had been reset at separate times on the previous sector. During the pre-flight preparation period for this flight there was one FCMC 2 and one FCMC 1 failure, the crew were able to carry out successful resets on each occasion.

The aircraft took off from Hong Kong at 1621 hrs. Shortly after takeoff there was an Electronic Centralised Aircraft Monitor (ECAM) alert advisory 'FCMC2 FAULT' displayed. There were no ECAM actions associated with this fault and the commander decided to delay any attempt at a computer reset until the aircraft had reached its cruising level. When the aircraft reached its initial cruise altitude the crew attempted an FCMC2 reset using the computer reset procedure in the Quick Reference Handbook (QRH). The reset attempt was unsuccessful. There were no further fuel system warnings, cautions or messages throughout the remainder of the flight.

The aircraft was cruising at Flight Level (FL) 380 in Dutch airspace when at 0330 hrs No 1 engine lost power. The flight crew secured the engine and the commander decided not to attempt to relight it but to continue towards Heathrow on three engines. The flight crew noticed that the fuel contents for the inner 1 fuel tank, which feeds engine No 1, was reading zero. Suspecting a possible fuel leak, a flight crew member was sent aft to inspect the engine area from the passenger cabin but nothing unusual was seen. However, soon afterwards, the crew observed the No 4 engine power fluctuate and noticed that the inner 4 fuel tank was also indicating zero fuel contents. The commander opened all the fuel crossfeed valves and the No 4 engine recovered. A 'MAYDAY' was declared and a diversion to Amsterdam Schipol Airport was initiated.

When the diversion commenced the total fuel on board was in excess of 25,000 kg but there were significant quantities of fuel located in the trim, centre and outer wing fuel tanks. Manual fuel transfer was started by the flight crew but they did not see immediately the expected indications of fuel transfer on the ECAM. Consequently, the flight crew remained uncertain of the exact fuel status. The diversion to Amsterdam continued and the aircraft landed there without further technical problems.
Learning Keywords:Operations - Deadstick/Power Loss
Operations - Fuel Exhaustion
Systems - Engine - Contained Engine Failure
Systems - Engine - Engine Management
Systems - Fuel
Systems - Fuel - Leak
Systems - Navigation Systems
Close match:All Engines-out Landing Due to Fuel Exhaustion, Air Transat, Airbus A330-243 marks C-GITS, Lajes, Azores, Portugal, 24 August 2001
Engine fire on takeoff, Air Zimbabwe, Boeing 707-330B, Z-WKU at Shannon Airport, Ireland, 1997-03-10
Engine failure, Serious Incident to ATR 42 EI-CBK near Dublin 8 August 2003
Apparent fuel leak, Boeing 777-236, G-YMME
Uncontained engine failure, Boeing 737-236 series 1, G-BGJL
Engine fire, McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30, N68065
Crash During Approach to Landing, Air Tahoma, Inc., Flight 185, Convair 580, N586P, Covington, Kentucky, August 13, 2004
In-flight loss of both engines, McDonnell Douglas MD-82, June 4, 2002
Fuel exhaustion, Executive Airlines, British Aerospace J-3101, N16EJ, Bear Creek Township, Pennsylvania, May 21, 2000
Fuel exhaustion, Overseas National Airways, Inc., Douglas DC-9, N935F, Operating As Antilliaanse Luchtvaart Maatschappij Flight 980, Near St. Croix, Virgin Islands, May 2, 1970
Crash following engine failure, Southern Airways, Inc., DC-9-31, N1335U, New Hope, Georgia, April 4, 1977
Fuel exhaustion, Avianca, The Airline Of Columbia, Boeing 707-321 B, HK 2016, Fuel Exhaustion, Cove Neck, New York, January 25, 1990
Fuel starvation, United Airlines, Inc., McDonnell-Douglas DC-8-61, N8082U, Portland, Oregon, December 28, 1978
Power loss in thunderstorm, Air Wisconsin, Swearingen SA-226 Metro, N650S, Valley, Nebraska, June 12, 1980
Engine fire, Airbus Industrie A300, July 9, 1998
Engine fire, Boeing 757-232, April 17, 2003
Bird ingestion into both engines, Douglas DC-9-15F, March 4, 1999
Uncontained engine failure and fuel tank puncture, Boeing 747-130, August 14, 1995
Overspeed And Loss Of Power On Both Engines During Descent And Power-Off Emergency Landing, Simmons Airlines, Inc., D/B/A American Eagle Flight 3641, N349SB False River Air Park, New Roads, Louisiana, February 1, 1994
Foreign object ingestion and dual power loss, McDonnell Douglas DC-9-87, March 14, 1997
Dual engine failure and loss of directional control, Douglas DC-9-32, Windsor Locks, December 19, 1995
Ethiopian Airlines B767 (ET-AIZ) Aircraft Accident In the Federal Islamic Republic of the Comoros, in the Indian Ocean on November 23, 1996
Uncontrolled collision with terrain, Flagship Airlines, Inc., dba American Eagle Flight 3379, BAe Jetstream 3201, N918AE, Morrisville, North Carolina, December 13, 1994
Engine fire, McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30, G-NIUK, May 11, 1997
Maintenance Error — In-flight fuel leak, Air Canada Airbus A330-300, C-GHKX, Vancouver International Airport, British Columbia, 06 November 2003


Accident Reports on DVD, Copyright © 2006 by Flight Simulation Systems, LLC.  All Rights Reserved.
 All referenced trademarks are the property of their respective owners.