The United Arab Emirates General Civil Aviation Authority released the final report of their investigation into a fume incident on board a Boeing 777-300.
On February 13, 2011, a Boeing 777-300ER (A6-ECE), was operating Emirates’ flight EK203, from Dubai International Airport, UAE, to New York-J.F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), USA. On board were 341 passengers and 20 crew members.
En route the cabin crew reported a smell of burning rubber and sulphur in the aft cabin area. Other crew members identified the odor as being like a rotten egg smell. The smell subsided and then returned from cabin air vents near the over wing area.
The flight crew, in consultation with the Operator’s Maintenance Control Centre (MCC), isolated the recirculation fans, galley equipment and the In Flight Entertainment (IFE) system.
However, the smell continued to progress and intensified towards the forward cabin and flight deck. The flight crew elected to divert the flight to Stockholm, Arlanda Airport in Sweden. The ‘Smoke Fire Fumes’ checklist was completed and 43 tons of fuel was jettisoned. During descent an IFE ‘Cooling Fan’ status message activated. The aircraft landed uneventfully at maximum landing weight. Following investigation engineering isolated the IFE cooling fan, and the aircraft was released for flight.
During the subsequent sector, from Stockholm to New York, shortly after level off at FL300, the cabin crew again reported the smell. After consultation with MCC, the right pack was turned off in order to isolate the ozone system. After a few minutes the smell subsided and the flight continued uneventfully.
During the unexpected events that occurred on the flights from Dubai, to Stockholm and onwards to New York, the crew members reported that cooperation was good, with leadership providing and receiving information at an optimum rate. After landing at JFK, the right hand pack lower flow control valve was deactivated in the closed position in order to isolate the ozone converter. Both air-conditioning packs were operated on the ground and no further anomalies were noted.
On the third sector, the smell of fumes returned once again. After consultation with the Operator’s MCC, the crew turned off the right air-conditioning pack and the flight then continued normally. Subsequent flights were all odor free.
- GCAA Final Report (PDF)