4th April 2023

Tech issue with Aircraft.

Initial Report

There has been an ongoing technical issue with the [Aircraft Type and Registration] for a while and the engineers don’t know what’s wrong but no one’s investigating the issues that keep happening and the aircraft is still operating. It’s now stuck in [Location 1] with the same issues that have been going on for weeks. Crew are worried about flying on it.

Further Information:

I have been flying on the aircraft [Registration] for many months and there is a problem with  engine no.2 and other issues. I had a high speed rejected take off in [Location 2] earlier in the year (a lot seems something to do with feathering I think) Also it had an oil pressure and fuel leak a few weeks ago. We were flying with an engineer onboard for weeks to erase a constant fault that would have grounded the plane as soon as we were away from an engineering base.

I don’t have access to engineering or maintenance managers etc. I know myself and a few other colleagues don’t feel safe flying on this aircraft. I’ve also heard that the company has requested that minimum money is spent on maintenance of the aircrafts which is concerning and things don’t get fixed because it will cost money.

There is currently an issue with pressurisation on the other [Aircraft Type and Registration] we were meant to be working on so ended up working on [Registration] which had an engine fire indicator a few days ago and the cabin crew who were on it reported a burning smell in the cabin. It was on the ground. Something to do with engine 2 in hotel mode and the wind blowing the heat back into the engine? But I heard it caused the other engine to show the fire indicator.

CHIRP Comment

This report was active for several months and the CAA were contacted with the reporters’ permission. The CAA responded with comprehensive feedback which showed the aircraft maintenance records were scrutinised for the periods detailed in the report. The CAA found that maintenance had been carried out in accordance with all applicable requirements. They also said that they will take account of the issues raised in the CHIRP report, during audits already scheduled for the summer.

The Master Minimum Equipment List (MMEL) is a document, developed by the manufacturer and approved by the State of Design, that lists the equipment which may be inoperative at the commencement of flight without affecting safe operation of the aircraft. Operators then produce their own Minimum Equipment List (MEL) but, if this differs from the MMEL, it may only be via the inclusion of more restrictive limitations.  In the event of any defects being notified or arising before take-off, the Commander must review them against the MEL to ensure the aircraft can still be safely dispatched.  The continued operation of an aircraft with permitted defects should always be minimised, though mitigations or alternative measures may be put in place until maintenance action can clear the problem.

For more information about a defect when onboard ask your flight crew or an engineer. If something doesn’t feel, look or sound right, it is important communicate this to your colleagues, no matter how small.