Swissair – Airbus – A321-111 (HB-IOC) flight SR831

Swissair - Airbus - A321-111 (HB-IOC) flight SR831
Engine view bearing of Swissair – Airbus – A321-111 (HB-IOC) flight SR831

Swissair flight SR831 was in flight from London Heathrow to Geneva after the climb to FL290 and establishing cruise conditions at 11:05 UTC a loud bang was heard by the flight and cabin crew.

The cabin crew advised the cockpit crew by interphone of their observations. After checking all parameters, all seemed normal and the flight continued to Geneva.

During descent in to Geneva for a landing on runway 05, around 11:46 UTC the vibrations on the RH engine increased and fluctuated as well as the EGT of the RH engine.

A loss of engine power was felt, so that a corrective rudder input had to be given.

During the landing and flare phase, fire was observed by a crew in the proximity of the runway and TWR was advised.

After landing, the warning light “ENG #2 OIL FILTER CLOGGED” came on.

The crew shut down the RH engine.

Geneva Apron advised the crew that one engine is on fire and asks them if they can stop were they are, which means on the taxiway. The crew complied with the request.
The aircraft stopped on the taxiway.
Both fire extinguisher bottles of the RH engine were discharged. The fire brigade arrived and cooled the RH engine. The fire has ceased, as no more fuel was injected due to the shut off of the engine.
After the extinguishing of the fire and the cooling down of the engines, the CDR decided to let the passengers disembark via the stairways on the taxiway.
Nobody was hurt during the disembarkation of the plane and the passengers remained calm.

The incident was the result of the failure of Bearing No. 4 during the Flight from LHR to GVA.
Despite the fact, that some days earlier, the engine #2 had showed a popped out chip detector indicator in BRU, there is no relation to the incident of 20 February 2001.
The material removed after this incident has been analyzed and did not show Bearing material as used on Bearing No.4.
The first indication with a noticeable noise during cruise left some engine indications changed, but not so far out of the former values, that a clear analysis of the situation was possible to the crew.
Also the cabin crew had realized the noise and has contacted the flight crew.

During the approach to Geneva, the situation changed, as through the change in power setting, the parameters of engine #2 started to change.

After the reduction of power, there was the application of more power around 11:42 with the throttles retarded again.
At 11:46 there was again power applied, and at this moment, the engine #2 shows a sharp increase in EGT, a loss of N1 and N2 together with remaining low P25 and P3.
The engine was only shut down on the ground, after the “ENG #2 OIL FILTER CLOGGED” warning light came on.

Through the crew of an aircraft holding short of runway 05, the Geneva Ground controller was advised, that flames were coming of the landing aircrafts engine #2.
This information was transferred to the Geneva Apron controller, who instructed Swissair 831 to stop at the taxiway. A distinct frequency 121.85 (Geneva Traffic) was assigned to Swissair 831 and the chief of the fire brigade to coordinate the actions.

After the activation of both fire extinguisher bottles by the crew and the cooling of the tailpipe by the fire brigade, the fire was out. This was mainly due to the starvation of the fuel in the tailpipe.
The fire extinguishers were of no use, as their disposal of extinguishing agent was not in the area of the tailpipe. As the fire was no real threat and was extinguished quickly, the CDR decided not to evacuate the aircraft via the slides and ordered disembarkation via stairs on the left side.
There was some confusion among the cabin crew members about the correct selection of the door slides, as the captain had briefed to disarm only the left slides and leave the right slides armed in case an emergency evacuation would become necessary. As some doors normally are never actuated and the command should be “Yellow selectors disarmed”, One flight attendant (FA 3) was disturbed by the command:” ALL LH selectors in disarmed position” The Purser corrected the instruction to this person.

 

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accident date: 20/01/2001
operator: SWISSAIR
make: AIRBUS
model: A321-111
registration: HB-IOC
msn: 520
location: Geneva airport, Switzerland
flight number: SR 831

Category: Aviation Incident

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