Friday, April 24, 2015

Orange County firm named in lawsuit over British flight emergency: Airbus A319-131, G-EUOE

A problem on a British Airways flight in 2013, which forced an emergency landing, was caused by aircraft parts manufactured by International Aero Engines and Hartwell Corp., a lawsuit filed in Orange County Superior Court on Tuesday alleges.

The suit was filed by nearly two dozen people who were on the plane.

The complaint filed on behalf of flight crew members and travelers claiming to be injured during the emergency landing at Heathrow airport in London alleges that negligence on the part of Placentia-based Hartwell and Connecticut-based IAE led to midair failures on the aircraft.

The companies could not immediately be reached for comment on Thursday afternoon.

According to the lawsuit, the accident on British Airways Flight 762 was caused when the cowl doors on the housing of the engines detached and punctured a fuel pipe causing a fire on the right engine.

The flight crew tried to cut off the flow of fuel driving the fire, according to the lawsuit, but the engine’s fuel control system overrode their efforts.

The lawsuit claims appear to conflict with the results of an investigation into the accident by Britain’s Air Accident Investigation Board.

The board determined that a maintenance error led to the engine parts being blown off since the cowl doors of the Airbus A319 were not properly shut.

They suggested that aircraft operators ensure “essential checks” are conducted on cowl doors.

As a result of the emergency landing, the lawsuit claims that the passengers and crew suffered physical and psychological injuries.

Hartwell is accused of designing and manufacturing “defective” latches on the cowl doors, the lawsuit states, while IAE designed the engines.

The lawsuit also alleges that Hartwell and IAE should have known about the alleged defects, since there had been “32 reported cowl door detachment events” prior to the accident.

Original article can be found here:

Special Bulletin S3/2013 - Airbus A319-131, G-EUOE


As the aircraft departed Runway 27L at London Heathrow Airport, the fan cowl doors from both engines detached, puncturing a fuel pipe on the right engine and damaging the airframe, and some aircraft systems.

The flight crew elected to return to Heathrow. On the approach to land an external fire developed on the right engine.

The left engine continued to perform normally throughout the flight.

The right engine was shut down and the aircraft landed safely and was brought to a stop on Runway 27R.

The emergency services quickly attended and extinguished the fire in the right engine.

The passengers and crew evacuated the aircraft via the escape slides, without injury.

Subsequent investigation revealed that the fan cowl doors on both engines were left unlatched during maintenance and this was not identified prior to aircraft departure.

Air Accident Investigation Branch report:


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