The AAIB released their investigation report into the October 2005 incident to an Airbus A319-131.
As the aircraft climbed to FL200 in night VMC with autopilot and autothrust engaged, there was a major electrical failure. This resulted in the loss or degradation of a number of important aircraft systems. The crew reported that both the commander’s and co-pilot’s Primary Flight Displays (PFD) and Navigation Displays (ND) went blank, as did the upper ECAM display. The autopilot and autothrust systems disconnected, the VHF radio and intercom were inoperative and most of the cockpit lighting went off. There were several other more minor concurrent failures.
The commander maintained control of the aircraft, flying by reference to the visible night horizon and the standby instruments, which were difficult to see in the poor light. The co-pilot carried out the abnormal checklist actions which appeared on the lower ECAM display; the only available electronic flight display. Most of the affected systems were restored after approximately 90 seconds, when the co-pilot selected the AC Essential Feed switch to Alternate (‘ALTN’). There were no injuries to any of the 76 passengers or 6 crew. After the event, and following discussions between the crew and the operator’s Maintenance Control, the aircraft continued to Budapest.
It was not possible to determine the cause of the incident due to a lack of available evidence, however, nine additional Safety Recommendations are made in this report.