Repeated issues with foul odor on Boeing 767 N251AY

Boeing 767-2B7ER N651US (became N251AY), July 2005 at Amsterdam Airport (Photo: Harro Ranter)

The Charlotte Observer reported that a US Airways Boeing 767 caused onboard illness in December and January and again sickened passengers and crew on March 16, 2010.
On March 16 US Airways flight AWE985 was pushed back from the gate at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, NC (CLT/KCLT) on a morning flight to Montego Bay-Sangster International Airport (MBJ/MKJS), Jamaica. The crew taxied back to the gate after an electrical smell was reported in the cabin. Seven crew members and two passengers recived medical treatment.
FAA Service Difficulty Reports indicate that the airplane in question, registered N251AY, was involved in two earlier cases of foul odors entering the cabin.
On December 28, 2009 a very strong odor was smelled during initial descent into San Juan. No cause was found but recirculation filters were replaced and  back in Charlotte the APU was replaced.
On the same flight three days later passengers and crew members in the rear of the aircraft complained of feeling faint and nauseous due to a foul odor in the cabin. Some repairs were made and the airplane returned to service.
Again on January 21, 2010 a foul odor was reported but no faults were found.

SDR narrative of the December 28 event:

SJU  FLT 1568  CLT TO SJU.  WHEN THRUST LEVERS WERE REDUCED TO IDLE FOR INITIAL DESCENT, A
VERY STRONG ODOR SMELLING LIKE WET SOCKS AND/OR DIRTY FEET CIRCULATED THROUGH THE
PASSENGER CABIN AND FLIGHT DECK.  THE FLIGHT LANDED WITHOUT FURTHER INCIDENT.  INSPECTED
THE ENGINES FOR LEAKS, PACK BAYS, WHEEL WELLS, APU, HYD SYSTEM.  NO LEAKS FOUND.
PERFORMED ENGINE RUN ISOLATING PACKS AND GENERATING WITH DIFFERENT AIR SOURCES.  REMOVED
AND REPLACED RECIRCULATION FILTERS.  NO SMELLS PRESENT.  THE AIRCRAFT WAS MAINTENANCE
FERRIED BACK TO CLT.  APU CHANGE DUE TO CABIN ODOR.  REMOVED AND REPLACED APU.

SDR narrative of the December 31 event:

FLT 1568.  FOUL ODOR AFTER TAKEOFF TO APPROX FL 180.  ODOR RESUMED ON DESCENT AT IDLE &
STRONGER PASSING FL 180, IN REAR OF ACFT.  PAX & F/A`S FEELING FAINT & NAUSEOUS.  APU OFF
& BLEEDS & PACKS ON.  FLT LANDED WITHOUT INCIDENT.  ACFT FERRIED FOR REPAIR.  BOTH ENGINES
SUMPS CHECKED FOR LEAKS & BORESCOPED.  NO FAULTS.  NEW HEAT EXCHANGERS, REHEATERS, &
CONDENSORS INSTALLED.  ACFT TEST FLOWN & CONDITION REPEATED.  MX FOUND RT RESERVOIR
PRESSURE MODULE CONTAMINATED.  MODULE REPLACED.  SHOP FOUND UNIT FAILED TEST.  INTERNAL
LEAKAGE.  BLEED VALVE STICKING.  FOUND CUT PACKING, CORRODED FILTER CAP, & DIRTY FILTER.
REPLACED FILTER, FILTER CAP, BLEED VALVE, SOFT GOODS, & HARDWARE.  TESTED UNIT.  NO
DEFECTS NOTED.

SDR narrative of the January 21 event:

A SCORCHED ODOR OR LIKE A GYM OR LOCKER ROOM.  ODOR ENDED UP IN ENTIRE CABIN.  MAINTENANCE
DID NOT DETECT ANYTHING ON ARRIVAL.  INSPECTED CHILLERS AND ALL ELECTRICAL WIRING
ASSOCIATED WITH CHILLERS, NO FOUL ODORS NOTED.  OPERATION OF LT RECIRC FAN IS GOOD.
FILTER IS NEW AND INSTALLED CORRECTLY.  AIR IS BEING DRAWN THROUGH AT A GOOD RATE.
SEVERAL CHECKS OF BOTH ENGINE RESERVOIR AIR PRESSURE LINES FOUND NO FLUID PRESENT AT THIS
TIME.  NO ODOR IN CABIN.  AIRCRAFT WAS ON NUMEROUS TEST FLIGHTS AND NO ODOR WAS NOTED.

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