A320 Cowling Latches


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Guest mmcrae

I was looking at a post on PPrune that was talking about a A320 with this CFM56-5's that lost the engine cowlings on both engines shortly after takeoff. The goto for those who are interested is: http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.ph...threadid=130038 and pictures only can be viewed at:

1st pictures

2nd pictures

3rd pictures

How easy / hard is it to miss the fact, if indeed that was the cause, that the latch is not latched????

By the damage on the tail, the outcome could have been much worse than it was.

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TC has issued notices about this problem. Apparently it is difficult to tell if they are not latched properly. Several airlines hacve had cowlings depart the aircraft. One resulted in severe damage to an a340 H-Stab. The stab required replacement. Airbus flew the stab over in a supertransporter. Cool to see one up close.

B

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Guest sputnik

As an Avionics Tech, I'm no expert on cowling latches. But a couple of years ago, Air Canada had the cowlings come open on one engine on a 319 just after departure YYZ. She landed safely, but the damage to the tail was such that the horizontal stab had to be completely replaced. I remember Airbus moved one in using one of those "Super Guppies". Funniest lookin airplane I've ever seen.

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Guest mmcrae

Took a look at the NTSB site and could not find any reports of accidents involving Boeing aircraft and cowlings not being latched or latch failure. Following is the only one reported on their site involving an Airbus (Human Error)

NTSB Identification: LAX00LA223 .

The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Public Inquiries

Scheduled 14 CFR Part 121: Air Carrier AMERICA WEST AIRLINES, INC.

Accident occurred Monday, June 12, 2000 in LAS VEGAS, NV

Probable Cause Approval Date: 8/21/2001

Aircraft: Airbus Industrie A320-232, registration: N655AW

Injuries: 152 Uninjured.

During takeoff, as the airplane accelerated through takeoff rotation speed (Vr), the outboard, forward cowl door on the left (number 1) engine separated from the engine nacelle and struck the horizontal stabilizer. The pilot reported there had been an abnormal vibration as the aircraft accelerated through Vr. Several passengers pressed their flight attendant call buttons and alerted the flight attendants who, in turn, reported the cowling separation to the cockpit crew. The return for landing at the departure airport was unremarkable. The cowl door over-center type latches on the inboard door were found latched, however, the hooks were intact and undamaged. Similarly, the latch receptacles on the outboard door were visibly undamaged. The latches were painted red. An "RON-check" (Remain Over Night) had been performed during hours of darkness the previous night, which required that the cowling doors be opened. In the morning, the aircraft was handed over from the maintenance graveyard shift to the day shift. Maintenance items remained to be completed in areas of the aircraft other than the number 1 engine. The takeoff where the cowling separated was the first flight following return to service.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:

The failure of the mechanic to refasten the cowling door prior to returning the aircraft to service.

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Normally the TSB (or NTSB) would not be involved if the cowling separated without causing otherissues with the aircraft as the cause of the damage is known and an accident did not ensue. I know personally of two incidents, one on an A340 and one on an A320. I have eard of more but have no information.

B

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Guest mmcrae

Thanks all for your input. I find it interesting that TC wants the inflight crew to perform a tactile check of the latch but seem to ignore the fact that the engines are only 24in off the ground and a check requires one to get under the engine to do so. Unless the person doing the walkaround is wearing coveralls etc. then I suspect the tactile inspection by the flightcrew member will not be done. Seems to me that there must be a better answer. Perhaps insertion of flags into the latch that would only be removed when the latch has been secured......

Anyway getting into an area that is best left for the folks who work with the aircraft.

Again thanks for the information

Malcolm

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Guest acevans

It is not that hard to visually check all SEVEN (7) cowl latches on the 320 series, even for an old fart.

When I do a walk around, I position myself abeam the drain mast, kneel down on one knee and count all seven latches, ensuring that they are all flush. Takes about five seconds on each engine and is worth the peace of mind. I've found a few single latches unlatched over the years, but never all of them.

C.A. Evans

320CA YYZ wink.gif

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Problem there is they can be flush and NOT latched. This is why there is a requirement for the TACTILE check. Airbus has more incidents due to the cowl design on the aircraft.

Some airlines even require Two mechanics to check the latches.

B

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Guest WINGER

RE::How easy / hard is it to miss the fact, if indeed that was the cause, that the latch is not latched????

I've closed 320 fan cowlings many times. Laying in the snow in the middle of the winter sometimes to do it. Never had any problems. It's very easy to tell if they are latched properly!

That's these CAMA types for you. The new generation who think they are aircraft mechanics yet they cannot even close a cowling properly!

If it's not totally Murphy prove they can screw it up. And these are the types that getr paid 32 dollars an hour and want MORE!

CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?

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