Austrian A320 near Sofia on Jul 30th 2018, turbulence injures 5

Last Update: August 6, 2018 / 23:02:20 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Jul 30, 2018

Classification
Accident

Flight number
OS-861

Destination
Tel Aviv, Israel

Aircraft Registration
OE-LBM

Aircraft Type
Airbus A320

ICAO Type Designator
A320

An Austrian Airlines Airbus A320-200, registration OE-LBM performing flight OS-861 from Vienna (Austria) to Tel Aviv (Israel), was enroute at FL350 about 30nm southsouthwest of Sofia (Bulgaria) when the aircraft encountered turbulence causing an altitude deviation of about 100 above and 900 feet below the cleared flight level and causing injuries to four passengers and one cabin crew. A nurse travelling on board of the aircraft took care of the injured, the crew decided to continue the flight to Tel Aviv, where the crew declared medical emergency and requested medical services to meet the aircraft. The aircraft landed safely in Tel Aviv about 2 hours later, the injured were taken care of by already waiting medical staff.

The return flight was cancelled.

The occurrence aircraft remained on the ground for 22 hours, then returned to service.

The airline reported the aircraft encountered clear air turbulence, four passengers and one flight attendant received minor injuries. Due to the excellent health facilities in Tel Aviv and a nurse on board, who treated the injured, the crew decided to continue the flight to destination, declared PAN on approach and requested medical services to meet the aircraft. No further turbulences occurred. The injured were checked at the airport and were released.

According to ADS-B data there had been no other aircraft enroute above FL350 near the A320.

On Aug 5th 2018 The Aviation Herald received a passenger report indicating the aircraft was enroute above clouds with the seat belt fasten signs not illuminated when his son (6) needed to go to the lavatory. While in the lavatory there was a first bump prompting the father to immediately return to the seat, further bumps occurred, the father instructed the son to crawl back to their seats. Suddenly the aircraft appeared to fall, the father and his son as well as other passengers and cabin crew were thrown against the cabin ceiling, then fell down again. The son impacted the arm rest of a seat with his left arm and chin, subsequently he complained about pain in the chest. The boy also impacted the father's left foot resulting in some scratches. A nurse on board examined the boy, did not find any impact mark on the chest, the pulse was stable, so the decision was made to continue to Tel Aviv. The father reported food service was in progress at the time, flight attendants were in the aisle with their service carts when the turbulence set in causing the trolleys also to lift off and distribute their contents throughout the cabin. One of the trolleys hit a flight attendant's back. The aisle was subsequently blocked with all sort of debris and fallen trolleys and it took the flight attendants quite a while until the aisle was free again. Food was all over the people and on the cabin ceiling. The passenger understood the captain announced they had lost about 450 meters/1500 feet during the encounter. After arrival in Tel Aviv they were examined by medical staff with no major findings, they decided to not visit a hospital.

The airline reported following an additional inquiry after the passenger report, that the aircraft encountered severe turbulence, the aircraft however remained within its flight envelope at all times and did not exceed any G-limitations or its maximum speed, the autopilot was active throughout the event. Authorities were informed according to legal requirements, no investigation has been opened. The airline confirmed they were aware the father and his son were on the way back to their seats when the turbulence occurred but did not confirm the detailed report by the family. All people who reported injured including father and son were examined at the airport in Tel Aviv by medical staff, none of the injured needed to be transported to the hospital. The flight attendants were able to continue work. Austrian Airlines also offered psychological assistance on the airline's expense and received 11 requests. The cabin ceiling did receive minor damage, mainly little optical damage or dirt. The aircraft was returned to service following the required checks.
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Jul 30, 2018

Classification
Accident

Flight number
OS-861

Destination
Tel Aviv, Israel

Aircraft Registration
OE-LBM

Aircraft Type
Airbus A320

ICAO Type Designator
A320

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