The NTSB has published an investigation report on an incident in which an Aruba Airlines Airbus A320-20 lost an improperly closed fan cowl door on departure.
On September 19, 2016, an Aruba Airlines Airbus A320-200, reg P4-AAA, flight AG-820, from Miami International Airport, FL (USA), to Queen Beatrix International Airport, Aruba (Aruba), powered by two International Aero Engines (IAE) V2527 turbofan engines experienced a separation of the outboard fan cowl from the right-hand engine during takeoff.
The flight crew was unaware of any anomalies until a passenger alerted the cabin crew. The flight crew leveled off at FL220 and was not sure if the panel had detached completely or was not visible from inside the airplane. All systems appeared normal in the cockpit but as a precaution the crew elected to return to Miami.
The flight had an uneventful landing about 40 minutes after departure. The aircraft sustained damage to the engine, engine pylon, right main landing gear, right main landing gear door and right fuselage.
The night prior to the incident the airplane was in maintenance where mechanics closed and latched the cowl doors after routine weekly maintenance. Because the gate area where the maintenance was being performed was dark, the mechanic who completed the work used a flashlight to verify the latches were flush and made sure he heard a click. A second mechanic who was assisting, also verified that the latches were flush but did not use a flashlight; he stated in a post-incident interview that he could see they were flush. The task was then signed off in the logbook as complete but did not specify that the cowls had been opened and closed.
The morning of the incident,the supervisor and the first officer conducted an exterior walkaround prior to departure and did not notice any abnormalities. All interviewed after the incident stated that cowl was flush and latched.
Based on the pattern of cracks on the cowl, the investigations confirmed that the cowl was not latched properly. After comparing with previous cowl separation incidents, the investigators conclude that in all cases, the fan cowls were opened prior to the flight and were not correctly re-secured. During the pre-flight inspection, it was then not detected that the FCD were not properly latched.
According to Aviation Safety Network,there are over 40 fan cowl loss incidents involving Airbus A320-family aircraft since 1992
Following are the few list of incidents and accidents involving improperly latched fan cowls.
9 February 1992; A320 of Mexicana at Mexico City, Mexico
20 January 2000; A320 of Airtours International at London-Gatwick, U.K.
12 June 2000; A320 of America West at Las Vegas, USA
13 September 2000; A320 of Skyservice at Toronto, Canada
11 May 2004; A320 of Iberia at Madrid, Spain
13 July 2004; A320 of AirTran at Atlanta, USA
9 January 2008; A319 of Northwest Airlines at Detroit, USA
19 January 2010; A318 of Mexicana at Cancun, Mexico
28 January 2010; A320 of Volaris at Tijuana, Mexico
27 November 2010; A319 of Air India at Bangalore, India
10 December 2010; A320 of Bulgaria Air at Sofia, Bulgaria
30 November 2011; A320 of Wizz at Bucharest, Romania
19 May 2012; A320 of TAM at Natal, Brazil
18 February 2013; A320 of China Southern Airlines at Harbin, China
24 May 2013; A319 of British Airways at London-Heathrow, UK
12 August 2013; A320 of easyJet at Milan, Italy
9 November 2013; A319 of Spirit Airlines at Chicago-O’Hare Airport, USA
18 September 2014; A320 of JetBlue at Long Beach, USA
26 January 2015; A320 of flynas at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
14 October 2015; A319 of Sky Airline at Santiago, Chile
16 October 2015; A320 of Tigerair at Singapore
13 June 2016; A320 of American Airlines at Phoenix Sky Harbor, USA
19 September 2016; A320 of Aruba Airlines at Miami, USA
25 July 2017; A320 of Bangkok Airways at Bangkok, Thailand