Malaysia B738 near Kuala Lumpur on Apr 3rd 2022, pitot static system failure causes upset
Last Update: April 10, 2022 / 11:03:08 GMT/Zulu time
A replacement Boeing 737-800 registration 9M-MSB reached Tawau with a delay of about 4.5 hours.
Passengers told Malaysian media initially, that the aircraft had been in turbulence at FL310 when it suddenly, within seconds, lost 7000 feet to FL240 causing them to float out of their seats and to fear for their lives. That narrative was clearly disproven by radar data (the aircraft had never been at FL310 and had never maintained FL240, no drop of 7000 feet within seconds was recorded), while the air return indicated there had indeed been some sort of a problem. Neither Malaysia Airlines nor the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia responded to inquiries by The Aviation Herald however.
Malaysia Airlines initially announced the aircraft had suffered a "technical problem compounded by bad weather en route".
In a media statement on Apr 10th 2022 the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia reported that CVR and FDR of the occurrence aircraft had been secured and had been analysed. Based on the FDR data a malfunction of the pitot static system was discovered that caused erratic speed indications prompting the autopilot to disconnect and the aircraft to substantially pitch up. The crew reacted correctly pitching the aircraft down, an abrupt input from the flight crew was seen on the FDR. These maneouvers correspond with the pilot post flight reports as well as some of the passenger experiences. These maneouvers were compounded by bad weather which caused passenger discomfort in the cabin. The initial actions taken by the crew as well as the execution of the abnormal recovery checklist as per standard operating procedures were sufficient based on the initial investigation results. Malaysia Airlines completed a review of the pitot static systems including pitot heating on their fleet, the occurrence aircraft remains currently grounded pending a review by Boeing.
This article is published under license from Avherald.com. © of text by Avherald.com.
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