Ryanair B738 near Malta on Oct 15th 2019, turbulence injures flight attendant

Last Update: April 8, 2020 / 17:40:10 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Oct 15, 2019

Classification
Report

Airline
Ryanair

Flight number
FR-3901

Destination
Malta, Malta

Aircraft Registration
EI-EMA

Aircraft Type
Boeing 737-800

ICAO Type Designator
B738

A Ryanair Boeing 737-800, registration EI-EMA performing flight FR-3901 from Birmingham,EN (UK) to Malta (Malta) with 180 passegers and 6 crew, was descending through FL250 towards Malta when the captain switched the fasten seat belt signs on and informed cabin crew to secure the cabin early as they might be turbulence during the descent. The flight crew had observed isolated cumuloimbus clouds on their weather radar and deviated around the significant weather with the assistance by ATC. After informing cabin crew the flight crew reduced the speed of the aircraft and turned to the right to avoid entering a cloud. The aircraft however experienced a serious upset due to turbulence, three flight attendants who were working in the aft galley to secure the galley equipmet fell to the floor, one of the flight attendants received a serious leg injuries. The purser working in the forward cabin requested one of the uninjured flight attendants to come to the forward section of the cabin while the purser attended to the injured flight attendant. The injured was helped in an aft crew seat and was made secure, the flight crew requested medical services to meet the aircraft upon arrival. After landing the injured flight attendant was taken to a local hospital where the fractures of both tibia and fibula were diagnosed.

Ireland's AAIU released their final factual report reporting that descending through FL165 the Static Air Temperature (SAT) decreased rapidly, the aircraft encountered a vertical acceleration of +2.02G followed by oscillations of +/- 1.3G for 26 seconds. Descending through FL157 the SAT increased and the accelerations became normal again. The autopilot remained engaged throughout the event.

The AAIB concluded the investigation with stating the facts, no analysis or conclusions were made. The AAIB however commented:

The Commander was aware that turbulent conditions would likely be encountered during the descent, due to Cb activity which was both observed and detected on the weather radar.

The passenger seat-belt sign was on and the CSS was also notified of possible turbulence during the descent. The Flight Crew deviated around the most significant weather with reduced bank angle and reduced speed before entering the cloud layer. Rapid changes in SAT are indicative of variability in local atmospheric conditions, and are associated with turbulence. The SAT dropped rapidly as the aircraft entered cloud coincident with turbulence. During the turbulence, vertical acceleration in excess of 2.0 g was recorded momentarily, and three Cabin Crew Members were knocked off balance and fell to the floor.

One crew member suffered injury as a result of the fall and occupied the No. 3 (aft) crew seat for the remainder of the flight. The injured crew member was brought to hospital on arrival at the destination.

The Investigation is of the opinion that the Commander took all reasonable steps to mitigate the effects of a likely turbulence encounter. While the Cabin Crew were made aware of the likelihood of turbulence, they were required to secure the cabin. While doing so, a momentary sudden and severe upset occurred. Apart from CCM No. 2, no other crew or passengers were reported injured during the encounter.
Aircraft Registration Data
Registration mark
EI-EMA
Country of Registration
Ireland
Date of Registration
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Manufacturer
THE BOEING COMPANY
Aircraft Model / Type
BOEING 737-8AS
ICAO Aircraft Type
B738
Year of Manufacture
Serial Number
Aircraft Address / Mode S Code (HEX)
Maximum Take off Mass (MTOM) [kg]
Engine Count
Engine
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Main Owner
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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Oct 15, 2019

Classification
Report

Airline
Ryanair

Flight number
FR-3901

Destination
Malta, Malta

Aircraft Registration
EI-EMA

Aircraft Type
Boeing 737-800

ICAO Type Designator
B738

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