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

Bookmark this article
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Apr 3, 2022

Classification
Incident

Flight number
MH-2664

Destination
Tawau, Malaysia

Aircraft Registration
9M-MLS

Aircraft Type
Boeing 737-800

ICAO Type Designator
B738

A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 737-800, registration 9M-MLS performing flight MH-2664 from Kuala Lumpur to Tawau (Malaysia), was enroute at FL300 about 110nm east of Kuala Lumpur already over the coast of Malaysia to the South China Sea when the aircraft pitched up with the autopilot disconnecting due to a wrong airspeed indication, the crew counteracted to maintain control of the aircraft. The aircraft subsequently performed a controlled descent to FL130 levelling off at FL130 15 minutes after leaving FL300 (average rate of descent 1130 fpm) and returned to Kuala Lumpur for a safe landing about 2 hours after departure.

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.
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Apr 3, 2022

Classification
Incident

Flight number
MH-2664

Destination
Tawau, Malaysia

Aircraft Registration
9M-MLS

Aircraft Type
Boeing 737-800

ICAO Type Designator
B738

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

You can read 2 more free articles without a subscription.

Subscribe now and continue reading without any limits!

Are you a subscriber? Login
Subscribe

Read unlimited articles and receive our daily update briefing. Gain better insights into what is happening in commercial aviation safety.

Free newsletter

Want to know more and stay ahead? Get our free weekly newsletter and join 5276 existing subscribers.

By subscribing, you accept our terms and conditions and confirm that you've read our privacy policy.

Send tip

Support AeroInside by sending a small tip amount.

Related articles

Newest articles

Subscribe today

Are you researching aviation incidents? Get access to AeroInside Insights, unlimited read access and receive the daily newsletter.

Pick your plan and subscribe

Partner

Blockaviation logo

A new way to document and demonstrate airworthiness compliance and aircraft value. Find out more.

Virtual Speech logo

ELITE Simulation Solutions is a leading global provider of Flight Simulation Training Devices, IFR training software as well as flight controls and related services. Find out more.

Get updates

Never miss an article from AeroInside. Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter and join 5276 existing subscribers.

By subscribing, you accept our terms and conditions and that you've read our privacy policy.

AeroInside Blog
Popular aircraft
Airbus A320
Boeing 737-800
Boeing 737-800 MAX
Popular airlines
American Airlines
United
Delta
Air Canada
Lufthansa
British Airways