|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||airport : zzz.airport|
|Altitude||msl single value : 14000|
|Operator||common carrier : air carrier|
|Make Model Name||Commercial Fixed Wing|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 121|
|Flight Phase||climbout : intermediate altitude|
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : captain|
oversight : pic
|Qualification||pilot : atp|
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight attendant : on duty|
|Independent Detector||other other : 2|
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : declared emergency|
flight crew : diverted to another airport
Cabin Crew Human Performance
Flight Crew Human Performance
On climb out departing ZZZ; at approximately 14000 ft; the lead flight attendant notified the pilots that she smelled a burning plastic smell in the galley area. I told her to investigate and fight the fire if one was discovered. After about 2 mins she notified us that she could not locate the source of the odor and she could find nothing burning or hot. I told her to inspect the light lens covers in the galley area and forward lavatory as a possible source of hot plastic smell. She again notified us that she could find nothing wrong. At this time the pilots began to smell the hot or burning plastic smell in the cockpit. I turned off galley power and inspected the galley area myself using proper cockpit entry/exit procedures. I could find nothing causing the odor and returned to the cockpit and made the decision to return to ZZZ as precaution. The lead flight attendant again notified us that the odor seems to be going away. This was about 4 mins after turning galley power off. We made our turn back to ZZZ without declaring an emergency. About another 3 mins passed when the lead flight attendant informed us that the aft flight attendant and aft section passenger began smelling the hot/burning plastic smell in the aft section of the cabin. I declared an emergency and received priority back to ZZZ. I maintained 300 KTS until outside FAF (below 10000 ft). Landing and return to the gate was uneventful. Crash fire rescue equipment followed us to the gate. Logbook entry was made. There was never any smoke in the cabin. Landing weight was approximately 103500 pounds. In the course of this incident; we notified company via ACARS and ZZZ via radio. We received a gate. Upon arrival at the gate; there was no marshaller and we waited 4 mins just outside the gate for a marshaller. We called company twice reminding them that we were an emergency aircraft. We had crash fire rescue equipment on our left and right and aft waiting with us. Numerous ramp personnel were visible but none appeared to have any sense of urgency.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: BURNING PLASTIC ODORS OF INDETERMINATE ORIGIN FOSTERS AN EMERGENCY DECLARATION AND RETURN TO DEP ARPT FOR UNSPECIFIED ACR ACFT.
Narrative: ON CLBOUT DEPARTING ZZZ; AT APPROX 14000 FT; THE LEAD FLT ATTENDANT NOTIFIED THE PLTS THAT SHE SMELLED A BURNING PLASTIC SMELL IN THE GALLEY AREA. I TOLD HER TO INVESTIGATE AND FIGHT THE FIRE IF ONE WAS DISCOVERED. AFTER ABOUT 2 MINS SHE NOTIFIED US THAT SHE COULD NOT LOCATE THE SOURCE OF THE ODOR AND SHE COULD FIND NOTHING BURNING OR HOT. I TOLD HER TO INSPECT THE LIGHT LENS COVERS IN THE GALLEY AREA AND FORWARD LAVATORY AS A POSSIBLE SOURCE OF HOT PLASTIC SMELL. SHE AGAIN NOTIFIED US THAT SHE COULD FIND NOTHING WRONG. AT THIS TIME THE PLTS BEGAN TO SMELL THE HOT OR BURNING PLASTIC SMELL IN THE COCKPIT. I TURNED OFF GALLEY PWR AND INSPECTED THE GALLEY AREA MYSELF USING PROPER COCKPIT ENTRY/EXIT PROCS. I COULD FIND NOTHING CAUSING THE ODOR AND RETURNED TO THE COCKPIT AND MADE THE DECISION TO RETURN TO ZZZ AS PRECAUTION. THE LEAD FLT ATTENDANT AGAIN NOTIFIED US THAT THE ODOR SEEMS TO BE GOING AWAY. THIS WAS ABOUT 4 MINS AFTER TURNING GALLEY PWR OFF. WE MADE OUR TURN BACK TO ZZZ WITHOUT DECLARING AN EMER. ABOUT ANOTHER 3 MINS PASSED WHEN THE LEAD FLT ATTENDANT INFORMED US THAT THE AFT FLT ATTENDANT AND AFT SECTION PAX BEGAN SMELLING THE HOT/BURNING PLASTIC SMELL IN THE AFT SECTION OF THE CABIN. I DECLARED AN EMER AND RECEIVED PRIORITY BACK TO ZZZ. I MAINTAINED 300 KTS UNTIL OUTSIDE FAF (BELOW 10000 FT). LNDG AND RETURN TO THE GATE WAS UNEVENTFUL. CFR FOLLOWED US TO THE GATE. LOGBOOK ENTRY WAS MADE. THERE WAS NEVER ANY SMOKE IN THE CABIN. LNDG WT WAS APPROX 103500 LBS. IN THE COURSE OF THIS INCIDENT; WE NOTIFIED COMPANY VIA ACARS AND ZZZ VIA RADIO. WE RECEIVED A GATE. UPON ARR AT THE GATE; THERE WAS NO MARSHALLER AND WE WAITED 4 MINS JUST OUTSIDE THE GATE FOR A MARSHALLER. WE CALLED COMPANY TWICE REMINDING THEM THAT WE WERE AN EMER ACFT. WE HAD CFR ON OUR L AND R AND AFT WAITING WITH US. NUMEROUS RAMP PERSONNEL WERE VISIBLE BUT NONE APPEARED TO HAVE ANY SENSE OF URGENCY.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of May 2009 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.