Serious incident Canadair CL-600-2D24 Regional Jet CRJ-900LR D-ACNP, Thursday 10 December 2015
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Date:Thursday 10 December 2015
Time:21:05 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic CRJ9 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Canadair CL-600-2D24 Regional Jet CRJ-900LR
Owner/operator:Eurowings, opf Lufthansa Regional
Registration: D-ACNP
MSN: 15259
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 48
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: None
Category:Serious incident
Location:Genève-Cointrin Airport (GVA/LSGG) -   Switzerland
Phase: Initial climb
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Genève-Cointrin Airport (GVA/LSGG)
Destination airport:Düsseldorf Airport (DUS/EDDL)
Investigating agency: STSB
Confidence Rating: Information verified through data from accident investigation authorities
The aircraft was taxiing for takeoff on a scheduled flight to Dusseldorf (EDDL) when a stale smell was noticed in the
cockpit. After takeoff, the smell persisted throughout the climb and was also noticed in the cabin. The first officer donned his oxygen mask as he began to feel hampered in his work. A Pan Pan urgency call was made and the flight returned for a landing in Geneva, about 35 minutes after takeoff.

After various examinations, it seems likely that the marked soiling of the filter cartridges with dust is related to the unusual smell that has spread in the cockpit and cabin. It is therefore likely that due to the reduced air flow through the filters, the recirculation fan bearings overheated and emitted an irritating odour.
The fact that during the flight of the incident, the MDC did not record a status message and that the flight crew did not report such a message suggests that the recirculation fan motor thermal switch was not activated. The reason why an automatic deactivation of the fan re-circulation(s) by their respective thermal switch could not be established.
The flight crew's decision to stop the flight and return to Geneva was made for safety reasons.
Several crew members experienced a deterioration in their health and abilities.
Therefore, it is difficult to understand why a flight crew member did not use his oxygen mask when available. As regards reactions to toxic substances, it should be stressed that they do not have the same effects on everyone. Even if you do not temporarily feel uncomfortable, it is not wise to give up protective measures until the first negative symptoms appear.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: STSB
Report number: 
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 years and 7 months
Download report: Final report


Revision history:

26-Jan-2016 19:38 harro Added
18-Jul-2018 07:50 harro Updated [Narrative]
18-Jul-2018 07:51 harro Updated [Time, Total occupants]
18-Jul-2018 08:15 harro Updated [Narrative]
20-Jul-2018 06:43 GeoffR Updated [Narrative]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

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