Bangalore Mirror Bureau | Updated: Mar 7, 2018, 04.00 AM IST
A committee to investigate a serious fire incident involving a Jet Airways aircraft at the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) two years ago has found out lapses in inspection, leading to smoke in the aircraft cabin and fire in the engine. On June 15, 2016 anxious moments prevailed at the airport runway and an emergency was declared as Jet Airways ATR 72-500 aircraft bound to Mangaluru, with 67 passengers onboard, was forced to return and make an emergency landing after smoke was spotted in the cabin. Following the incident, which left three passengers with minor injuries while they were being evacuated, a two-member committee was formed to ascertain the cause of the smoke and fire.
“Aircraft took off from Bangalore at 4:29 UTC for Mangalore. Immediately after take-off, the master caution warning was triggered for a second. Crew continued normally with flight as all parameters seemed normal. After attaining a height of around 6,000 feet the crew got call from cabin crew in-charge informing him of smoke in passenger cabin. Crew carried out smoke checklist, gave PAN call to ATC and decided to return to Bangalore. The smoke kept on thickening, but source of smoke could not be identified. Passengers were given wet tissues and issued instructions to bend down. Shortly before landing, fire was noticed on RH engine. Crew discharged both the fire bottles and engine was shut down. A ‘May Day call’ was given and the aircraft landed back at 453 UTC. Emergency evacuation was carried out on the runway itself. Three passengers suffered minor injuries during evacuation,” said the final report of serious incident involving Jet Airways 72-500 aircraft VT0JCL.
On the probable cause of the incident, the report said : “The probable cause of smoke in cabin was contamination of bleed air by engine oil due to failure of the air/oil seals of turbine shaft bearings and impeller bearings caused by the heavy vibration consequent to failure of PT2 blades.”
It further added that not carrying out Eddy Current Inspection as per SI-02-14 or EMM 72-03-00 and SB 21786 was a contributory factor to serious incident. Eddy current inspection can help detect small cracks and defects on materials. In the finding, the committee found blades were fractured due to fatigue and overload. In its recommendation, the committee said Jet Airways should ensure routine Eddy Current Inspection on all its ATR fleet as per the EMM 72-03-00 and that the airline may check the feasibility of carrying out SB21876 at a predetermined engine hours, based on failure analysis, in consultation with DGCA. As an emergency was declared at KIA for Jet ATR’s priority landing, five departures and seven arrivals were delayed due to unavailability of Runway. The passengers were also treated for minor injuries which included bruises.