Event Details

Title:Electrical sparks, Boeing 757-2YO, G-OOOX
Micro summary:This Boeing 757-2YO experienced a shower of sparks from the overhead P1 panel, along with some systems failures, resulting in a diversion.
Event Time:1998-06-22 at 0005 UTC
File Name:1998-06-22-UK.pdf
Publishing Agency:Aircraft Accident Investigation Board (AAIB)
Publishing Country:United Kingdom
Report number:EW/G98/6/6
Site of event:50 nm west of Larnaca
Departure:Larnaca International Airport, Larnaca, Cyprus
Destination:Manchester International Airport, Manchester, England
Airplane Type(s):Boeing 757-2YO
Flight Phase:Climb
Operator(s):First Choice Airways
Type of flight:Revenue
Serious Injuries:0
Other Injuries:0
Executive Summary:The aircraft and crew had been scheduled to fly from Manchester to Larnaca, Cyprus, and return. The aircraft was serviceable for the flight and the outbound leg had been uneventful. After a normal turnaround the aircraft departed from Larnaca with the first officer (FO) as the handling pilot; he established the aircraft in the climb with the autopilot and autothrottle engaged. When passing FL 255 there was a loud bang and a shower of sparks which emanated from the overhead panel (P11). Simultaneously the commander's air speed indication reduced to zero, his altimeter OFF flag appeared and multiple OFF flags appeared on his Radio Distance Magnetic Indicator (RDMI); the FO suffered no instrument malfunctions. The FO retained control of the aircraft which he levelled at FL 270. By this stage a number of caution and advisory messages had appeared on the Engine Indication and Crew Alerting System (EICAS) display. The commander selected the alternate air data source which restored his ASI and altimeter. Meanwhile his VOR/DME controller display had gone blank, the centre ILS had failed and multiple OFF flags had appeared on the standby attitude indicator which eventually toppled.

The crew declared an emergency via a PAN call and requested a return to Larnaca where they knew that the meteorological conditions were good. The visibility was 20 km, the only cloud was reported as scattered at 3,500 feet, there was no significant weather and the surface temperature was +22_C. Runway 22 was in use in light wind conditions; this runway has an asphalt surface with an available landing distance of 2,520 metres. All relevant approach aids and lighting units were serviceable.

The FO retained control of the aircraft whilst the commander completed the appropriate drills for the following EICAS messages: 'Spoilers', 'Left Yaw Damper' 'Standby Bus Off'. He was unable to restore power to the standby bus and since both the main and the Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) batteries were discharging he reset the standby power selector to 'Auto' in accordance with the drill. During the return to Larnaca the commander's flight director and the auto throttle failed and when descending through 5,000 feet the 'Right IRS DC Fail' message appeared on the EICAS. Once the aircraft was positioned on the extended runway centreline at about 2,000 feet, and the crew had assured visual contact with the runway, the commander took control and completed an overweight, manual landing at 96 tonnes. When the APU was started during the taxi to the allocated parking area the status message 'APU Batt No Stby' appeared.
Learning Keywords:Operations - Bang, pop, crack, sizzle!
Operations - Maintenance
Systems - APU
Systems - Autopilot/Autothrottle
Systems - Electrical
Systems - Flight Instruments
Systems - Navigation Systems
Other - Certification


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