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Water heater soldering issue led to smoke on TransAsia A320

A soldering issue on a circuit board in a water heater led to smoke incident aboard a TransAsia Airways Airbus A320 on 24 July 2016.

The aircraft, registered B-22317, was on a flight from Taichung to Macau with 107 people aboard when the incident happened. Shortly after take-off, a water heater in the rear galley emanated smoke with a "burnt odour".

The cabin crew turned off the galley power, pulled all the relevant galley equipment circuit breakers and put out the smoke with a fire extinguisher. The aircraft then continued on to Macau without further incident, after it was confirmed that there were no more safety concerns.

In its investigation report, Taiwan's Aviation Safety Council says the thin external conductors of the water heater's printed circuit board together with a flawed connection could have resulted in heat damage and smoke during normal operation of the water heater.

The Council found the reaction of the cabin and flight crew to be adequate and complied with company requirements.

B/E Aerospace, the manufacturer of the water heater, has since released a service information letter calling for the power module assembly of all applicable units to be examined at the next available shop visit. Power modules found to have discolored must also be replaced.

Flight Fleets Analyzer shows that the aircraft, owned and managed by BOC Aviation, is currently in service with Ural Airlines. TransAsia Airways shut down last November.

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