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A320 high engine vibration with smell of burning.

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A320 high engine vibration with smell of burning.

Old 30th Apr 2018, 10:50
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A320 high engine vibration with smell of burning.

Hello all,

A high engine vibration on the A320 directs you to the QRH procedure. This clearly states that an ECAM vibration advisory alone does not require an engine shut down.

I had this situation in the sim a while back so didn't shut the engine down but then not long after instructor calls to say there is a smell of burning and small amount of smoke. So I decided this was more than a coincidence with the ECAM advisory so shut the engine down and all debrief points afterwards that this was the correct decision.

I flew with a colleague not long ago and he had the same situation but instead of shutting the engine down he ran the Smoke/fumes removal kept the engine running at idle. This he did because of the section in the high vibration QRH saying 'high engine vibration may be accompanied by cockpit and cabin smoke and/or the smell of burning. This may be due only to compressor blade tip contact with associated abradable seals'. Does this phrase imply its exceptable to keep the engine running whilst having smoke/burning? I would still be very uncomfortable running an engine that's producing a burning let alone smoke even if you were removing the smoke with the smoke removal QRH.

Any my thoughts or ideas would be great.

Mooneyboy
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Old 30th Apr 2018, 11:01
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I would still be very uncomfortable running an engine that's producing a burning let alone smoke even if you were removing the smoke with the smoke removal QRH.
If you switched off the associated pack, then the smoke can't enter the aircraft.
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Old 30th Apr 2018, 13:54
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This may be due only to compressor blade tip contact with associated abradable seal
This should only be temporary (secs) in nature while at power assuming EGT is within limits when returned to idle.
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Old 30th Apr 2018, 15:21
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Thanks for your pointers.

Golden rivett: Yes you have a good point that turning the pack off is a quick easy way ( as long as X bleed isn't open) to stop more smoke/smell entering the cabin. However if it was smoke that had already entered the cabin and causing pax breathing difficulties then you may still want to remove it.

Lomapaseo: Please correct me if I'm wrong but are you saying that as the compressor blade tip makes contact with the abradable seal as the seal is worn down ( as it should do in this situation) it could produce a temporary burning smell/smoke. Once it's worn down, which shouldn't take long there is enough blade tip clearence now that there is no more burning smell/smoke produced so if all other parameters are correct it can be run at idle and therefore not require an inflight shutdown?
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Old 30th Apr 2018, 15:58
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Lomapaseo: Please correct me if I'm wrong but are you saying that as the compressor blade tip makes contact with the abradable seal as the seal is worn down ( as it should do in this situation) it could produce a temporary burning smell/smoke. Once it's worn down, which shouldn't take long there is enough blade tip clearence now that there is no more burning smell/smoke produced so if all other parameters are correct it can be run at idle and therefore not require an inflight shutdown?
Yes "could"
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Old 1st May 2018, 02:18
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Engine vibration by itself may not call for engine shutdown but if you notice perceptible smoke the smoke procedure will have to be applied and since it all started with engine vibration you would be applying air conditioning smoke suspected which will lead to shutting down of the faulty pack. After that the decision whether to shutdown the engine can be taken according to the vibration procedure.
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