Aviation safety investigations & reports

Fumes Event, VH-EBY, 275 km WSW of Sydney, NSW, 25 Feb 2008

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On 25 February 2008, at about 2128 Eastern Daylight-saving Time, the flight crew of a Boeing Company 747-338 (747) aircraft, registered VH-EBY, detected a smell that slowly increased in intensity. At that time, the aircraft was cruising at 37,000 ft and was about 275 km west south-west of Sydney, NSW.

The flight crew donned their emergency oxygen equipment and transmitted a PAN call to air traffic control. The aircraft was cleared direct to Sydney for landing and was escorted to the terminal by the airport fire services for disembarkation.

An inspection by the operator determined that loose terminal connections to the left windshield heat element resulted in electrical arcing and fumes on the flight deck.

The aircraft manufacturer has a programme to replace the windshields in the 747 with an enhanced windshield heater wiring connection that should address the risk of electrical arcing in that component.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 328KB]
General details
Date: 25 February 2008   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 2145 ESuT   Investigation level: Systemic - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): CULIN NSW, 270 degrees/93 km    
State: New South Wales   Occurrence type: Fumes  
Release date: 29 May 2009   Occurrence category: Serious Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer The Boeing Company  
Aircraft model 747  
Aircraft registration VH-EBY  
Serial number 23823  
Type of operation Air Transport High Capacity  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Perth, WA  
Destination Sydney, NSW  
Last update 03 April 2020