AAIB investigation to Airbus A320, EI-DEO

Fumes in the cockpit, en route from Dublin Airport to London Heathrow Airport, 12 August 2019.


After completing a cross-bleed start, both flight crewmembers experienced a strong fuel/oil smell which they assumed was as a result of the start procedure. During taxi, they experienced further fuel/oil fumes and thought it was due to the exhaust of an aircraft taxiing ahead. Further intermittent occurrences of fumes were noticed during departure and climb which they discussed.

Whilst the flight crew were conducting their approach brief, they discussed that they both felt they were not operating to their normal standard and agreed they would maintain a heightened awareness. They did not think it necessary to don oxygen masks. The approach and landing were without incident. After landing the flight crew opened the cockpit direct vision windows and taxied onto stand. During a post flight review, unsure of their medical condition, both flight crew donned the oxygen masks for a short while. A basic medical examination of the flight crew showed that all their vital signs were normal.

The aircraft was subjected to extensive fault finding by engineering staff, no cause for the fumes was identified and the aircraft has returned to operation with no further reports of fumes.

The operator completed an internal investigation and is reviewing smoke and fumes guidance material provided to its flight crew.

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Airbus A320, EI-DEO 02-20

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Glossary of abbreviations

Published 13 February 2020