View Full Version : Incident on Wamos Air Flight: EB737

6th Oct 2017, 01:32
Hi There.

I'm not a pilot / any airline professional but wanted to ask for some advice / opinion on an incident that I have occurred on a Wamos Air Flight.

I was caught up in the Monarch cancellations and had been placed onto a repatriation flight organised by the CAA on 4th Oct (Malaga - Gatwick). Initially we were told the flight was due for Take Off at 10pm, but this had been delayed until 2am for some reason, with the Flight Reference changing during the wait.

Anyway, the plane that arrived to take us home was a Wamos Air B747-400 (Reg: EC-KSM) Upon entering the craft, it was very dated and 'tired' for lack of better terminology. I'm quite a nervous flyer so asked for a window seat over the wing which I was fortunate to get (41A).

Take Off and Climb were seamless, and I had managed to get some sleep once cruising. About 1 hr 40 mins into the flight, it seemed like we had began our descent which had woken me up. Once awake, it became quickly apparently to me that I could smell a burning smell - similar to the smell of when you're turning on a portable electric heater for the first time in ages.

The Air Conditioning above the storage lockers was blowing incredibly loudly, but I noticed that it had started to get very warm inside the airplane and had realised that the heater near my feet was blowing out hot air. I thought it was strange that you would have both heat and A/C blowing simultaneously. The burning smell went away after 15 seconds so I dismissed it as innocent.

A period of a few minutes had passed, and I noticed that the burning smell had returned again, this time quite strong and for a longer duration. At this point I was worried so woke my partner up. He has some experiencing of flying and reassured me that it was just the heaters warming up after not being used for a while - at this point though, I felt like I could see smoke rising up from the footwell (it was only very thin and lasted for around 5 seconds before disappearing again). My partner was adamant he couldn't see it and I felt like I was going mad. Then the smell went away again.

Surely enough, both the smell and the smoke returned after another 2-3 minutes, and this time it was VERY obvious. My partner saw it, and I started to panic. The smoke lasted for around 20 seconds and went again, but the smell was so blatant and pungent - an air stewardess who passed me did absolutely nothing despite there being no way she wouldn't have smelt it. I also tried to get her attention but the air conditioning and noise from within the aircraft was absolutely deafening. I could barely communicate with my partner it was that loud.

I reached down to the footwell and touched the side panels just above the heater gills. It was red hot to touch. I was absolutely sure something sinister was going to happen.

And then, just as quickly as it started, both the smell and smoke went away after the aircraft did a turn.

I do not understand what happened. Once landed and safely on the ground, my partner confessed that whatever it was certainly wasn't normal but couldn't guess as to what it was / causing it.

For the record, this definitely was not mist / condensation / vapour - i've been on planes where that has happened and it was quite different. I've contacted Wamos to report this, as well as the CAA, but was Wamos have rejected my email.

Does anyone have any thoughts as to what may have happened? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. I feel like I am going mad.

Thank you in advance.

04 Oct Malaga (AGP) London (LGW) (PLM736P) 2:22 - 2:24 AM

6th Oct 2017, 12:45
Hmmm.....shades of Lufthansa, B747 wasn't it, 2003, where a a plug carrying 115VAC was not sealed, and because it was located in the lower dado area just above the cabin floor, took in air conditioning condensation water, shorted out and started a fire alongside the startled passenger in a window seat in Row 24.

As I recall it, the crew extinguished the fire, ripping away panels to enable them to get to the seat of it.

6th Oct 2017, 13:24
It might be a stable door behind a horse, but in case this a/c is used again in UK airspace, or not, a phone call to UK CAA might be appropriate. You'd feel uncomfortable if something did happen with this a/c due to your perceived problem. There are operators who survive by supplying a/c & crew to fill holes in peak season and last minute operations as this. Standards might not be up to the regular airlines and old equipment is not uncommon.