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A320 Cowl Latches Overlooked Reason.  
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31702 posts, RR: 56
Posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 10621 times:

There has been over 15 reported A320 Engine cowls remaining unlatched incidents.....The latest was BA762, where both
Engine cowl were left unlatched.

Is this a problem with the CFM56 engines or V2500 types too.Why is the check list not being followed in such cases.

What makes this type more susceptible?.

[Edited 2013-06-16 04:07:57]


Think of the brighter side!
31 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17172 posts, RR: 66
Reply 1, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 10610 times:

If memory serves, after the incidents a decade or more ago, the latches were redesigned so that they stuck out if unlatched.


"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21521 posts, RR: 53
Reply 2, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 10500 times:

I'm wondering why it isn't SOP to attach warning tags to the cowls and/or obvious warning notes in the cockpit ("fix before flight!") when leaving them unlatched.

If I did something which for safety reasons required special attention of my colleagues the next day, I would feel the urge to make that fact really obvious, and the SOPs should probably reflect that.

Electronic sensors at the latches would seem like a good idea too – there shouldn't be much of a weight and complexity penalty.


User currently offlineflipdewaf From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2006, 1578 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 10408 times:
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Why don't they just put interlocks on these things?

Fred


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21521 posts, RR: 53
Reply 4, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 10344 times:

Quoting flipdewaf (Reply 3):
Why don't they just put interlocks on these things?

I suppose it wouldn't be a good idea to have an engine shut down at the worst possible moment just because a cowl sensor croaked right then due to vibrations.

But a cockpit warning might still be nice, I guess.


User currently offlineLarshjort From Denmark, joined Dec 2007, 1524 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (1 year 6 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 10171 times:

Quoting Klaus (Reply 4):
I suppose it wouldn't be a good idea to have an engine shut down at the worst possible moment just because a cowl sensor croaked right then due to vibrations.

But a cockpit warning might still be nice, I guess.

Shouldn't take much work to make it either a caution or an advisory message.

/Lars



139, 306, 319, 320, 321, 332, 34A, AN2, AT4, AT5, AT7, 733, 735, 73G, 738, 739, 146, AR1, BH2, CN1, CR2, DH1, DH3, DH4,
User currently offlinecharlienorth From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 1133 posts, RR: 5
Reply 6, posted (1 year 6 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 9907 times:

An indication light would probably would not work as there is a lot of oil and moisture in the area, one thing I have noticed is it is easy to get a false latch. Some airlines have made cowling latch cheeck a seperate write-up for verification.

User currently offlineroswell41 From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 803 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (1 year 6 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 9843 times:

I always double check the engine cowl latches on my A320 on the walk around for this reason. Sounds like laziness on a preflight inspection honestly. This is a known problem by A320 operators.

User currently offlinecharlienorth From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 1133 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (1 year 6 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 9775 times:

Quoting roswell41 (Reply 7):
I always double check the engine cowl latches on my A320 on the walk around for this reason. Sounds like laziness on a preflight inspection honestly. This is it I've gone back out and triple checked.
I'm so neorotic I've gone back out and double checked the latches.
[quote=roswell41,reply=7]I always double check the engine cowl latches on my A320 on the walk around for this reason. Sounds like laziness on a preflight inspection honestly. This is a known problem by A320 operators.

     
I'm neurotic enough to go out and triple check these.


User currently offlinesoon7x7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (1 year 6 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 9610 times:

Quoting roswell41 (Reply 7):
I always double check the engine cowl latches on my A320 on the walk around for this reason. Sounds like laziness on a preflight inspection honestly. This is a known problem by A320 operators.

Why would a trend such as this be indicative of a specific aircraft when the same can occur with any type?...Just basic PIC pre flight check. Hartwell Latches, if indeed these are Hartwell's, are well made and highly engineered. If the same incident re occurs, then the design of the component is a flawed one. Change them out, end of problem.


User currently offlineTristarsteve From Sweden, joined Nov 2005, 4068 posts, RR: 33
Reply 10, posted (1 year 6 months 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 9574 times:

Quoting soon7x7 (Reply 9):
Why would a trend such as this be indicative of a specific aircraft when the same can occur with any type?...Just basic PIC pre flight check. Hartwell Latches, if indeed these are Hartwell's, are well made and highly engineered. If the same incident re occurs, then the design of the component is a flawed one.

If you go back to the other thread and the AAIB report, it is not the latches that are at fault. They latch easily and are secure and flush when closed.
The problem is that when you lower the cowls, they go closed and flush with the latches not engaged. There is a small hold open device, but this is not foolproof, and needs both cowlings to be opened for it to engage.
When the cowlings are closed, and the latches not engaged, you really need to kneel down and crouch under the engine to be sure. If you want to stand up and check, you need to be out at the wingtip.
The cure will be something mechanical. Something simple like a spring on the hinges in the pylon which keeps the cowlings apart until someone leans on them, or something very expensive like a complete redesign of the cowlings to put the latch line into view. Make one cowling 50pc bigger than the other so the latch line is always in view. But that sounds like something the NTSB would propose, and noone would take up. This problem does not warrant that amount of spending, until there is an accident.


User currently offlineroswell41 From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 803 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (1 year 6 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 9503 times:

Yes, you absolutely must crouch down to see the latches. It's just part of job.

User currently offlineJohnM From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 351 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (1 year 6 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 9399 times:

I have no first hand knowledge of how the civilian world does their maintenance documentation. Do you guys not make a writeup when cowl doors are opened? I know Uncle Sam can be very anal, but I don't see a problem writing up cowl doors, as a fail to close properly is a big deal.

User currently offlineDarkSnowyNight From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1412 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (1 year 6 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 9250 times:

Quoting HAWK21M (Thread starter):
What makes this type more susceptible?.

It's difficult to examine casually, based on position and the fact that it's certainly possible to flush them without their being fully latched.

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 1):
If memory serves, after the incidents a decade or more ago, the latches were redesigned so that they stuck out if unlatched.

That's the design. A certain north american carrier who operates their 319s, 20s, & 21s with the CFM56-5A (this is a different Cowl than the 5Bs) is known to have some very sticky latches under there. I've pushed on the flap portion of these and heard them spring closed enough times to know that they absolutely still can look closed when they're not.

Quoting charlienorth (Reply 6):
Some airlines have made cowling latch cheeck a seperate write-up for verification.

Most do, yes.

Quoting Tristarsteve (Reply 10):
When the cowlings are closed, and the latches not engaged, you really need to kneel down and crouch under the engine to be sure. If you want to stand up and check, you need to be out at the wingtip.

Yeah, or just crouch low enough to put a hand on them. That always worked fine for me.

Quoting JohnM (Reply 12):

That's the perception. But comparing my experience from military to civilian, I would say that we're most definitely a lot more thorough on this side. The only thing I remember 'Sam being more anal about are deferral periods, but there again, I don't remember so few items being deferrable in the military. And of course, the USAF had nothing like ETOPS when I was in.

Long story short, I can't imagine a carrier not writing this one up. Most of our client airlines want Oil Cap replacements (as in opening and closing, not just R&R) documented. A few have sign tabs for opening/closing gear bay doors.






Anyway, for the reasons mentioned above, I can totally see how this was possible if a GVI is all that's specified (or completed, to be more accurate) post closing them up. Those things can look flush...



Posting without Knowledge is simply Tolerated Vandalism... We are the Vandals.
User currently offlinesoon7x7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (1 year 6 months 3 days ago) and read 9163 times:

Quoting roswell41 (Reply 11):
Yes, you absolutely must crouch down to see the latches. It's just part of job.

Why not ..."REMOVE BEFORE FLIGHT TAGS" to insure they are secured before flight? Just a s hard as gear lock pins.


User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31702 posts, RR: 56
Reply 15, posted (1 year 6 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 9012 times:

So what I can understand is that the latches look latched when they are not from a distance.

What I'm trying to get at is...what can we from Maintenance do to ensure another such despatch with cowl latches unlocked NEVER occurs......From what I heard V2500 is guilty 70% of the 17 Incidents so far.



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineTristarsteve From Sweden, joined Nov 2005, 4068 posts, RR: 33
Reply 16, posted (1 year 6 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 8983 times:

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 15):
what can we from Maintenance do to ensure another such despatch with cowl latches unlocked NEVER occurs

The new Caution in the Manual reads that when you start closing the fan cowl doors, you must finish the job without stopping.
The danger is that you remove ythe hold open rods, close the cowls, then realise that the ground is wet and go off to find a trolley to lie on before securing the latches (You have to lie down on the ground to do it), and get diverted to another job.


User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31702 posts, RR: 56
Reply 17, posted (1 year 6 months 16 hours ago) and read 8823 times:

Any one having a closer view of the cowl latches?.


Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineCALTECH From Poland, joined May 2007, 2319 posts, RR: 26
Reply 18, posted (1 year 6 months 13 hours ago) and read 8778 times:

Quoting HAWK21M (Thread starter):
There has been over 15 reported A320 Engine cowls remaining unlatched incidents.....The latest was BA762, where both
Engine cowl were left unlatched.

Is this a problem with the CFM56 engines or V2500 types too.Why is the check list not being followed in such cases.

What makes this type more susceptible?.
Quoting JohnM (Reply 12):
I have no first hand knowledge of how the civilian world does their maintenance documentation. Do you guys not make a writeup when cowl doors are opened? I know Uncle Sam can be very anal, but I don't see a problem writing up cowl doors, as a fail to close properly is a big deal.

There should be no problem with any cowling, on any engine ever. Difficulty yes, problem no. Fan cowls are easy, the T/R ducts are problematic.

Once cowlings are being closed, it should always be finished before moving on to anything else. On some of our thru-flights, usually there are 2-3 Techs working any engine squawks. So there 2-3 sets of eyes that look over the cowling after it is closed.

Problem seems to be if one is following the AMM, and open/close cowlings are seperate steps in the manual rather then a seperate log book writeup, then there could a situation. Cowling that is opened should be documented, have noticed when cowling opened needs a log book signoff that they have been closed, the Techs double and triple check them.

Kinda like gear pins, in decades past, they were never written in the logbook as installed. Lots of incidents of them being left in. Then when a logbook writeup was required, the incidents went way down. Cowling should be documented for opening and closing, more care would be taken.



UNITED We Stand
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31702 posts, RR: 56
Reply 19, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 8178 times:

True....A Schedule needs to have these entries in place....then if followed will eliminate such an error in future.


Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlinehivue From United States of America, joined Feb 2013, 1114 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 8068 times:

See what AB has to say about it: p 16 of this link --
http://www.ukfsc.co.uk/files/Safety%...0First%20Mag%20-%20July%202012.pdf


User currently offlineApprentice From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 118 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 7886 times:

Quoting HAWK21M (Thread starter):

CFM is not the only, nor the first. Some Eng/Cowlingings combinations were prone to open latches, PW/B732 for instance.
What had change is that Predeparture Check by a Certified staff is not deemed necesary any more in most of the companies. Even AB magazine shows Pilots, no Mech, which of course is not same quality for that job.. (May be, some day, someone decide to have Avionics doing Cockpit preparation and Flight Plan loading to cut pilots duty time and save money?)
A320s in our time are submitted to Mx only at night, for Daily Check or Weekly and will flight all day long, several legs without a Mech approaching to it, except if snag arises. In any case, it will have not predeparture check by a profesional maintenance staff at all.
On top of that, Push-back and Engine Start surveillance is done by Rampers, again no MX there.

Rgds



A "NO" is a positive answer. My Tutor
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31702 posts, RR: 56
Reply 22, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 7607 times:

Quoting Apprentice (Reply 21):
PW/B732 for instance.

The B732 P&WJT8D cowl latches and the pin latch are well seated,only one has to ensure the hook engages between the cowls.



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineGrisee08 From United States of America, joined Mar 2013, 395 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (1 year 5 months 3 hours ago) and read 7092 times:
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http://www.f-16.net/attachments/airtranair.jpg
This is just one reason why I would check, recheck, and check the latches again.



You're Losing The Game!
User currently offlinesteinberger45 From United States of America, joined May 2009, 13 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (1 year 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 7017 times:

One of the reasons the latches are missed is the frequency in which the fan cowls are opened. On A320 cowlings you have to open the cowling each time you service the IDG. They do not have a IDG service panel like most other acft. This leads to the cowlings being opened on a active airliner every other day. This frequency leads to a better chance of error (missing the opened latches)

25 Post contains images chuchoteur : Was out on the line the other night, and took a couple of pics on an A319. One cowl in the closed position, flush with the air inlet. Note the latches
26 HAWK21M : Amazing pic. The angle of the pic by the location of the camera clearly shows that the cowl latches have to be viewed from quite low.
27 Jumpseat : I've seen EZY Airbus aircraft with decals on the engines which say "LOOK" with an arrow pointing downwards towards the engine cowl latches underneath
28 PGNCS : One thing I have always done on 320-series walkarounds is to not only bend over (or kneel) to look at the latches of the engine I'm standing next to,
29 bhill : Well, you can't fix stupid, nor engineer it out of something...if the design is being ignored, make 'em screw fasteners...take more time, but will get
30 Starlionblue : Alternative explanation: You just put together some IKEA furniture.
31 HAWK21M : This should be an SOP after the numerous incidents related to those cowl latches on the type.
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