Frontier A320 at Las Vegas on Nov 30th 2018, engine doors separated
A Frontier Airlines Airbus A320-200, registration N227FR performing flight F9-260 from Las Vegas,NV to Tampa,FL (USA) with 166 people on board, was climbing out of Las Vegas' runway 26R after being handed off to departure, when the crew reported cabin crew reported they got some problem with one of their engines (CFM56), flight attendants saying there was some fire.
Departure responded tower just observed the right hand engine cowl was open. The crew declared emergency and requested to return to Las Vegas. The next departure on runway 26R reported there was some large foreign object debris (FOD) on the runway. The A320 landed safely back on Las Vegas' runway 26L about 15 minutes after departure.
The airline reported the engine cowling came loose and separated from the aircraft.
Timeline of occurrences and regulatory actions on Airbus A320-family engine fan cowl door loss incidents
On November 30, 2018, an Airbus A320-214 operated by Frontier Airlines lost the fan cowl doors of engine no.2 upon takeoff from Las Vegas-McCarran International Airport, Nevada, USA. This incident was at least the 45th fan cowl door loss event involving an Airbus A320-family aircraft.
In July 2015 the U.K. AAIB published an investigation report into a fan cowl door loss accident involving an Airbus A319. Prior to this May 2013 accident , there were a total of 34 previous occurrences of fan cowl door loss on Airbus A320-family aircraft, including 21 events for aircraft fitted with IAE V2500 engines and 13 events for aircraft fitted with CFM-56 engines. Following the A319 accident, three further instances of fan cowl door losses occurred, bringing the total number of occurrences to 38. ASN was able to trace 29 occurrences, of which seven after the publication of the AAIB report, bringing the total to at least 45 occurrences.
A common safety issue among these incidents is the fact that the cowl doors were not closed and latched following maintenance. This was not detected by the engineers, nor by flight crew members during the walk-around check. The design of the fan cowl door latching system, in which the latches are positioned at the bottom of the engine nacelle in close proximity to the ground, increased the probability that unfastened latches would not be seen during the pre-departure inspections.
Timeline of occurrences and regulatory actions:-
9 February 1992; A320-231 of Mexicana at Mexico City, Mexico
1993-1996: no occurrences known to ASN
21 November 1997; A320-232 United Airlines at Washington, USA
1997-1999: no occurrences known to ASN
20 January 2000; A320-231 of Airtours International at London-Gatwick, U.K.
12 June 2000; A320-232 of America West at Las Vegas, USA
13 September 2000; A320-232 of Skyservice at Toronto, Canada
11 October 2000: Transport Canada issues Service Difficulty Alert AL 2000-06: "Engine Fan Cowl Loss"
31 October 2000: DGAC France issues AD 2000-444-156(B), mandating fan cowl door latch improvements.
5 September 2001: DGAC France issues AD 2001-381(B), superseding AD 2000-444-156(B), and requiring the installation of additional fan cowl latch improvement by installing a hold open device.
2002: no occurrences known to ASN
29 October 2003, FAA issued AD 2003-18-06, requiring that the door latches for engine fan cowls on certain Airbus airplanes be modified and that a new hold-open device be installed; all operators were required to comply by April 2005.
11 May 2004; A320-214 of Iberia at Madrid, Spain
13 July 2004; A320-233 of AirTran at Atlanta, USA
2005-2006: no occurrences known to ASN
22 April 2007; A319-111 of Frontier at Atlanta, USA
9 January 2008; A319-114 of Northwest Airlines at Detroit, USA
6 May 2008; A319-132 of Spirit Airlines at Detroit, USA
10 October 2008: NTSB issues safety recommendations A-08-79 through -82 on engine fan cowl separation prevention
20 August 2009: FAA issues Notice 8900.91 to its safety inspectors to educate operators about revising their maintenance program
19 January 2010; A318-111 of Mexicana at Cancun, Mexico
28 January 2010; A320-233 of Volaris at Tijuana, Mexico
5 April 2010; A320-232 of JetBlue at Newark, USA
27 November 2010; A319-112 of Air India at Bangalore, India
10 December 2010; A320-214 of Bulgaria Air at Sofia, Bulgaria
2 August 2011: FAA recognizes, after additional research that fan cowl latching issues are found predominantly with A319 and CRJ200 aircraft and "found no records indicating engine-fan cowl separation incidents due to improper latching since August 2008
28 October 2011: NTSB closes recommendations A-08-79 through -82; three as 'Unacceptable Action', one as 'Acceptable Action'
30 November 2011; A320-232 of Wizz at Bucharest, Romania
19 May 2012; A320-214 of TAM at Natal, Brazil
June 2012: Airbus publishes Safety first #14 magazine: "Preventing Fan Cowl Door Loss"
18 February 2013; A320-232 of China Southern Airlines at Harbin, China
24 May 2013; A319-131 of British Airways at London-Heathrow, UK
12 August 2013; A320-214 of easyJet at Milan, Italy
9 November 2013; A319-132 of Spirit Airlines at Chicago-O'Hare Airport, USA
18 September 2014; A320-232 of JetBlue at Long Beach, USA
26 January 2015; A320-214 of flynas at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
14 July 2015 AAIB publishes 24 May 2013 A319 accident report with 5 safety recommendations (the report mentioned 40 cases of fan cowl loss events)
31 August 2015: EASA issues recommendations to prevent loss of fan cowl doors on A320
14 October 2015; A319-111 of Sky Airline at Santiago, Chile
16 October 2015; A320-232 of Tigerair at Singapore
14 March 2016: EASA publishes AD 2016-0053; which supersedes DGAC AD 2001-381(B), and requires modification and re-identification of fan cowl doors (FCDs) on IAE engined A320-family aircraft.
13 June 2016; A320-232 of American Airlines at Phoenix Sky Harbor, USA
19 September 2016; A320-232 of Aruba Airlines at Miami, USA
29 June 2017: FAA issues AD AD 2017-13-10, superseding AD 2003-18-06; requiring modifying the engine fan cowl doors (FCDs), installing placards, and re-identifying the FCDs. The AD also adds airplanes to the applicability.
25 July 2017; A320-232 of Bangkok Airways at Bangkok, Thailand
7 March 2018; FAA issues AD 2018-05-04, requiring modification and reidentification, or replacement, of certain FCDs and installation of a placard. Applicable to CFM56 engined aircraft (A319/A320/A321 series - x1x); Compliance within 35 months
8 August 2018; FAA issues AD 2018-16-03, requiring modification and reidentification, or replacement, of certain FCDs and installation of a placard in the flight deck of A319-133 and A321-232 airplanes (IAE engines).
25 October 2018; A320-232 of Vueling at Bilbao, Spain
30 November 2018; A320-214 of Frontier Airlines at Las Vegas, USA