Initial inspection of Virgin Atlantic's long-haul Airbus fleet, after a fire emergency on an A340-300, has found a number of aircraft missing wiring-protection components in the area of their on-board bar units.
The 11-year old A340 involved had been en route from London Heathrow to Chicago O'Hare last month when it diverted to Shannon with a small fire and electrical arcing in the waste-bin storage compartment in the first-class bar area.
Ireland's Air Accident Investigation Unit discovered that a 10-wire cable loom for the bar's "mood lighting" had been completely severed, with evidence of contact from the bar's metal waste-bin.
Two runners are supposed to keep the bin away from the wiring loom, which is also meant to be protected by a metal cover. Neither of the components was found by investigators.
© Virgin Atlantic
"Initial inspection indicated the possibility that they were never fitted," says the AAIU, which points out that the bar unit is a specific modification to the Virgin long-haul fleet.
Inspection of the carrier's other A340-300s and -600s found that another aircraft had damaged to the wiring loom, and that "a number" of the jets also had problems relating to missing covers, runner screws and cable routing in the bar area.