An Austrian Airlines Airbus A321-200, registration OE-LBF performing flight OS-418 from Paris Charles de Gaulle (France) to Vienna (Austria) with 126 passengers and 6 crew, was descending through FL280 towards Vienna when the flight crew observed a strong smell of old socks/wet cloth and donned their oxygen masks. The smell was also noticed in the aircraft cabin. At FL100 the crew shut both air conditioning systems down supplying the cockpit and cabin with delta pressure RAM air according to the checklist for both air conditioning systems failing. The aircraft continued for a safe landing on Vienna’s runway 16 about 20 minutes later.
The Aviation Herald also learned that the aircraft had been dispatched out of Vienna to Paris under minimum equipment list requirements with the APU inoperative. On the ground in Vienna the aircraft was powered by a ground power unit (GPU), during the operation of that GPU a light smell of old socks/wet cloth had been noticed, which disappeared as soon as the GPU had been disconnected and air conditioning systems had taken over.
The occurence aircraft remained on the ground in Vienna for about 36 hours, performed a test flight from Vienna to Vienna, then remained on the ground again for 47 hours, performed another test flight and subsequently resumed service.
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