View Full Version : Lotus Air APU fire in CDG

ATC Watcher
24th Jan 2004, 15:25
A French sensationalist Newspaper ( Le parisien ) tells in its Saturday edition this morning a story which is in meantime repeated in many media.( sensitive after the crash of Flash airlines of course )

From the usual journalistic exaggeration, one can draw the following elements:
An A320 from Egyptian charter Lotus Air arrived in CDG on 22.01 at 0100Z on gate with a smoking APU. The ground crew warned crew who discharged the bottle. Upon inspection the APU seems to have had an explosion as a hole of 40cm was visible below the fin. Also parts of the APU were found later on the runway.
The sensationalist part now come in : the crew apparently insisted on taking off back to Cairo with pax, and police have had to intefere and block the a/c from departing. FDR was taken out and sent to BEA in le Bourget.
Crew is now in Hotel in CDG awaiting debriefing by BEA.
Registration of a/c is given as SU-LBE .
Anyone has more news ?

25th Jan 2004, 12:05
Just saw this on a news website . . .

Fire grounded Egyptian plane at Paris airport: report

An Egyptian charter company Airbus was grounded at Paris's Charles de Gaulle airport after an engine caught fire and a hole was discovered in the fuselage, a French newspaper reported on Saturday.

The A-320 Airbus belonging to the Egyptian Lotus Air company and chartered by the Marmara tour operator, had carried 134 French tourists and five crew members from Cairo on Thursday, the Parisien reported.

An airport official at Terminal Three observed smoke coming from a rear engine of the plane amid a strong smell of burning, the paper said.

None of the normal alarms had been triggered aboard the plane, it added.

A security official at the airport grounded the plane after the pilot refused to file an accident report and said he was preparing to take off again immediately for Egypt.

A hole 40 centimetres in diameter was discovered in the fuselage while two lengths of electrical wire were found on the runway, according to the report.

A police enquiry was immediately opened, and the plane's black boxes were being examined, the Parisien said.


25th Jan 2004, 16:20
The "rear engine" fire was the APU as reported in Lotus Air APU fire in CDG post. Yet another example of professional journalism.:(

25th Jan 2004, 17:35
Can't see that they will get much from the a/c 'black' boxes.

The report states that there were no cockpit indications of a fire or malfunction, so the FDR will show next to nothing.

The CVR might contain some interesting discussions between ground and flight deck or even among the flight deck members (my experience of Lotus air is that they fly with an engineer on board), but again nothing to help reveal the failure mode.

Much better that they pull the APU ECB. At least this will give some clue to what happened to the APU.

Whether it is right or wrong is not for me to say, but my guess is that the crew were trying to get home where the spares and manpower were available to effect repairs (and so reduce costs)

25th Jan 2004, 22:40
In fact we don't know now if the crew was trying to go without regards to the MEL..........or if they had the right to do so with an APU US...........

One thing is sure : French officials opened their umbrella, right or wrong, after years of neglect considering dubious charter activities.

26th Jan 2004, 10:06
A U/S APU is not a no-go item usually, however a hole in the fuselage (if the report is correct), would certainly need some attention before departure.