B3/2000L Engine Damage at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport on 17 October 2000

On Tuesday October 17th 2000 at approximately 18.25 local Finnish time an incident occurred at the apron of Helsinki Vantaa Airport on aircraft stand number 25. The scheduled passenger flight SN2337 from Brussels to Helsinki, operated by N.V. Sabena S.A. aircraft Airbus A319 with register OO-SSH and call sign Sabena 42L had a severe damage to its left engine. Aluminum stepladder left at the aircraft stand, within the engine inlet danger area was sucked into engine at final parking phase of the aircraft. The maintenance stepladder was destroyed and the engine was severely damaged but no other damage occurred in connection with the incident. There were a total of 62 passengers on board and five crew members.

Accident Investigation Board Finland nominated on October 18th 2000 according to its letter of appointment Troubleshooting coordinator, Mr Heikki Tenhovuori to conduct the initial investigation on the incident.

Accident Investigation Board appointed through its decision, Number B 3/2000 L an investigation commission to conduct an investigation as a result of the occurrence. Upon his consent, Mr Heikki Tenhovuori was nominated as chairman of the investigation commission and Major (ret), Mr Vesa Palm as a member.

Belgium Civil Aviation Administration (BCAA) notified on October 23rd 2000, that they will not nominate an accredited representative for the investigation. Both Finland and Belgium belong to Joint Aviation Authority, JAA.

Accident Investigation Board and Sabena Airline agreed upon that the investigation commission would receive all relevant information in reference to investigation through the contact person appointed by Sabena. The initially acting contact person was Technical Pilot of A320-fleet and as of November 13th 2000 Flight Safety Officer of the company.

Investigation was initiated on October 17th 2000 immediately after the incident. During the investigation the hearings of 25 people were completed between October 17th 2000 thru January 15th 2001. First Officer onboard the incident aircraft did not appear at the hearing on December 2nd 2000 due to the fact that he was requested in for active flight duty on his free day. He was not interviewed later on, as the investigation commission did not find the hearing of the First Officer necessary.

The investigation commission requested 21 days after the occurrence on November 7th 2000 the contact person of Sabena to produce the recording of the cockpit voice recorder concerning the incident flight for investigation. The reply was not received until February 12th 2001. The investigation commission was informed that the recording was no longer available, as Sabena Flight Operation had assumed it being of no significance to the investigation.

An intermediate information letter to both involved parties as well as the Finnish and Belgium Civil Aviation Authorities was issued on November 15th 2000.

The investigation commission obtained on March 20th 2001 via E-mail in return the confirmation of the previously forwarded hearing record of Commander of the incident flight. Investigators received via mail a formal signed record on the April 12th 2001.

Sabena delivered the investigation commission on April 12th 2001 the borescope inspection report completed by Commercial Fan Motor International (CFMI) concerning the inspection of the damaged engine.

Draft of the Investigation Report was forwarded on August 3th 2001, according to the Decree of Accident Investigation number 79/1996 to Finnish Civil Aviation Authority for statement and Belgium Civil Aviation Authority, N.V. Sabena S.A. and Finnair Inc. to familiarize themselves with the report. Sabena S.A. did not respond and Finnair Inc. didn’t have anything to comment about. Statements were obtained in return by September 22nd 2001 and are partly acknowledged in this Investigation Report.

Translation was made by Ms Susanna Halonen.

The investigation was completed on October 25th 2001

B3/2000L Report (pdf, 0.62 Mt)

Published 17.10.2000