The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued a Safety Information Bulletin, recommending operators of A320 aircraft to take measures to avoid non- or improper closing of fan cowl doors.
There have been numerous incidents involving the loss of fan cowl doors during the take-off phase, especially on Airbus A320 aircraft. In all reported incidents, analysis shows that the latches of the fan cowl doors were either unlocked or not properly hooked and secured. This condition remained undetected during the exterior walk-around preceding departure, leading to air scooping and subsequent cowl separation.
Airbus is currently working on a new design solution for the A320 family fleet, improving the identification of any fan cowl door not properly closed and latched. That modification is expected to be the subject of an Airworthiness Directive (AD).
In the mean time EASA recommends owners and operators to amend their pre-take-off procedures to ensure that all maintenance actions involving the opening/closing, removal and re-installation, or replacement of an fan cowl door is brought to the attention of the flight crew of the affected aeroplane before the next flight of that aeroplane.
In addition, EASA recommends design approval holders to consider amending the existing fan cowl door opening and closing procedures in the applicable aircraft maintenance manual (AMM) to make a record in the aircraft logbook each time these procedures have been applied and to communicate to operators to emphasize that applying these procedures is essential to avoid further events.
- EASA SIB No.: 2015-15 (PDF)