During the en route climb, the flight crew noticed smoke and fumes in the cockpit and donned their oxygen masks. Shortly after, the ECAM AVIONICS SMOKE caption was displayed and the aircraft diverted to Newcastle Airport. During the descent, the smoke appeared to dissipate after the crew carried out the Quick Reference Handbook (QRH) avionics smoke drill. The aircraft landed without further incident.
The source of the smoke and fumes was traced to the cockpit additional electrical supply static inverter, which had overheated. This was the third failure to have occurred on the operator’s fleet of Airbus A320 aircraft since August 2014. The operator was not aware that the aircraft manufacturer had issued a technical publication in March 2016 that identified the cause of the problem, and that the supplier had issued a Vendor Service Bulletin in October 2016 that recommended the replacement of the capacitor involved in the failure mode. A batch of 2,058 units was affected. The failed static inverter on G-EZWX was one of this batch. The investigation also identified an undocumented feature of the interphone emergency call function related to communication re-establishment after a handset reset; awareness of this feature could improve communication management between the cockpit and cabin crew.
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Published 14 September 2017