Embraer 145EU, G-EMBP
The aircraft was on a scheduled flight from Frankfurt to Birmingham. Whilst in the cruise at FL360 the cabin crew observed some hazy smoke in the central cabin area. The senior crew member informed the flight deck crew who donned their oxygen masks and declared an emergency to ATC. Because of information passed to them from an onboard positioning crew, that they had experienced an air conditioning pack problem earlier in the day, an initial descent to FL240 was carried out in anticipation of possible single pack operation. The emergency/abnormal procedure for ‘Air Conditioning Smoke’ was carried out following which the cabin crew reported that the smoke had cleared. The commander decided to continue the flight to Birmingham and there was no re-occurrence of the smoke en-route. Descending through FL50, towards the final approach to land, the cabin crew informed the commander that the smoke had returned and was now more to the front of the cabin area. A ‘PAN’ call was made and the flight crew put on their oxygen masks again. ATC were informed that it might be necessary to carry out a passenger evacuation on the runway after landing. Shortly before landing the cabin crew advised the commander that the smoke had cleared. After landing the commander stopped the aircraft on the runway and liaised with the Airport Fire Service (AFS) who were in attendance. AFS personnel came on board the aircraft and were unable to find any evidence of smoke or fire. The passengers were evacuated, as a precaution, following which the aircraft was towed off the runway to a stand. The source of the smoke was subsequently traced to a faulty bearing on the cabin air recirculation fan. The recirculation fan would have been turned OFF as part of the procedure carried out by the crew.
Published 10 December 2014