Published on December 11th, 2017 | by Mark Dwyer0
RAeS Lecture – The Airbus A320 Fan Cowl Door Case: A Human Factors Scenario Analysis
RAeS Public Lecture
‘The Airbus A320 Fan Cowl Door Case: A Human Factors Scenario Analysis’
- Mrs Anna V. Chatzi | PhD candidate, University of Southern Queensland.
- Dr Kyriakos I. Kourousis, MRAeS, CEng | Senior Lecturer, Programme Director Aircraft Maintenance & Airworthiness Engineering, University of Limerick.
Several Airbus A320 family engine fan cowl door losses have occurred in the past due to uninspected unlocked situations that have occurred in service. This issue is known to the industry for almost 18 years, however it has not been addressed adequately by the aircraft manufacturer and the various operators and regulating authorities. Airbus, in an attempt to address the issue permanently, proceeded in redesigning the FCD locking arrangement and
control philosophy, which were subsequently adopted by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), in 2015 and 2016, as Airworthiness Directives (Ads). However, as part of the EASA consultation process, a number of major operators (United Airlines, American Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Air Canada) have expressed reservations on the effectiveness of the Airbus redesign, on the basis of human factors issues, potential financial impact on operations and implementation cost. This brief paper intends to examine and discuss in a systematic way the possible operational and safety implications that the fan cowl doors modification can have in aircraft maintenance practice. It identifies issues in relation to this modification, introduced by Airbus and the European Aviation Safety Agency, which may prove problematic from the point of view of safety effectiveness and disruption of operations. An array of error-prone scenarios are presented and analysed under the prism of human factors in a non-exhaustive qualitative scenario analysis. Furthermore, a number of accident prevention solutions are proposed for each of the scenario examined, in view of the acceptance and implementation of this modification by operators.