EASA issued an Emergency Airworthiness Directive on 5 Feb 2020, after two in-service occurrences were reported involving inadvertent liquid spillage on the ENG START panel or ECAM Control Panel (ECP) on the centre pedestal in the flight deck on A350 aeroplanes.
In both cases, the aeroplane experienced an un-commanded engine in-flight shut-down (IFSD) of an engine some time after the liquid spillage. Subsequent engine relight attempts were not successful. In both events, the flight crew performed a diversion and landed the aeroplane safely.
Apparently an Asiana A350-900 flight operating between Seoul and Singapore diverted to Manila after an engine shut down due to tea spilled on the pedestal.
Results of the preliminary technical investigations indicate abnormal operation of the components of the ENG START panel or ECP due to liquid spillage in the system.
This condition, if not corrected, could lead to a dual engine IFSD, possibly resulting in a forced landing with consequent damage to the aeroplane and injury to occupants.
To address these occurrences, Airbus published the AFM TR defining a liquid prohibited zone in the cockpit, and the procedures to be followed in the case of inadvertent liquid spillage on the centre pedestal.
Airbus also published the FOT, reminding operators about the standard practices for handling liquids in the cockpit to reduce the probability of hazards.
For the reasons described above, this AD requires amendment of the AFM.
The Airworthiness Directive requires;
(1) Before next flight after the effective date of this AD, amend the applicable AFM by incorporating the AFM TR, as defined in this AD, inform all flight crews, and thereafter, operate the aeroplane accordingly.
(2) Amending the applicable AFM of an aeroplane by incorporating an AFM revision, which includes the same content as the AFM TR, is acceptable to comply with the requirements of paragraph (1) of this AD for that aeroplane.