Singapore A388 near Singapore on Jun 18th 2015, turbulence injures three

Last Update: December 8, 2017 / 14:26:05 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Jun 18, 2015

Classification
Report

Flight number
SQ-861

Aircraft Registration
9V-SKI

Aircraft Type
Airbus A380-800

ICAO Type Designator
A388

A Singapore Airlines Airbus A380-800, registration 9V-SKI performing flight SQ-861 from Hong Kong (China) to Singapore (Singapore) with 433 passengers and 27 crew, was on approach to Singapore descending through about 6000 feet when the crew spotted a cumulus cloud ahead on their flight path, without a significant painting on the weather radar, and decided to set their track to avoid the cloud. When the aircraft passed abeam of the cloud the aircraft experienced turbulence for about 2 seconds, then continued for a smooth further descent and landing. The flight crew did not perceive the turbulence as one that could have caused injuries and did not think further about it. The aircraft landed safely a few minutes later. One flight attendant received serious, two other flight attendants minor injuries.

Singapore's AIB (SAIB) released their brief final report without a conclusion into the occurrence rated an accident.

The SAIB reported that the three flight attendants working the in the aft galley of the upper deck were lifted off the floor and fell back onto the floor coming to sit on the floor. All three continued duties and recognized being injured only after getting seated for landing. After landing the purser informed the flight deck that three cabin crew had fallen the turbulence encounter, medical assistance was arranged.

The seriously injured flight attendant received a fracture on her right foot between heel and toes and reported, when she fell she hit a cart with her back and fell on her hip suffering a minor hip injury, at the same time one of the two other collegues fell onto her right foot.

The SAIB reported while the aircraft was descending between 7000 and 3000 feet MSL: "The flight crew observed from the ND that the return on their weather radar was mainly black with spots of green which suggested that there was no significant weather around their approach path."

The SAIB analysed:

During the descent from 7,000 to 3,000 feet, the flight crew saw isolated cumulus (CU) clouds ahead, but no thunderstorm cells, both outside the aircraft through the window as well on the NDs. To avoid the CU clouds, the SFO elected to fly through clear spaces between the clouds, attempting only a parallel track of about 3 to 4 nm to the left of the clouds. In the end, such a deviation did not prove sufficient.

The weather radar is a useful tool for detecting, analysing and avoiding adverse weather and turbulence. This occurrence serves as a reminder that flight crews should constantly monitor the weather radar information and deviate the flight path from any adverse weather by as much as practicable.

Preservation of recorders

The flight crew did not indicate in the technical log for the FDR/CVR to be removed as they had assessed that the turbulence lasted only a couple of seconds and it did not occur to them that the turbulence was severe, and as they did not know the extent of the injuries to the cabin crew members immediately after the event. The CVR data for the incident flight was overwritten in the subsequent flight and was not available to the investigation team for analysis.

The importance of airline operators ensuring a robust procedure to prevent flight recordings from being overwritten cannot be over emphasised.
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Jun 18, 2015

Classification
Report

Flight number
SQ-861

Aircraft Registration
9V-SKI

Aircraft Type
Airbus A380-800

ICAO Type Designator
A388

This article is published under license from Avherald.com. © of text by Avherald.com.
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