Brussels Airlines RJ1H at Brussels on Oct 27th 2009, hydraulics fluid hits passengers during taxi

Last Update: December 27, 2012 / 14:27:43 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Oct 27, 2009


ICAO Type Designator

The Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) of Belgium's Service public fédéral Mobilité et Transports released their final report concluding the probable cause was:

The rupture of the hydraulic pressure line was caused by metal fatigue at the weld joint of the pipe, associated with a low level of weld penetration.

The aircraft had already landed and was taxiing when the crew noticed the loss of the green hydraulic system and the loss of nose wheel steering. At that time cabin crew reported hydraulic fluid leaking into the cabin with some passengers being contaminated by the fluid. The aircraft stopped on the inner 9 taxiway, the passengers disembarked via the forward air stair onto the taxiway.

Four passengers showing signs of skin irritation on face and shoulder were taken to a hospital and discharged from hospital later the same day.

An examination of the aircraft revealed a pressure pipe of the green hydraulic system had ruptured. There was a large contamination of the aircraft systems with hydraulic fluid including for example all electrical wiring right hand side between frames 25 and 26, cabin lighting, cabin structure, cabin structure insulation, all fuel processor units, engine start system, radio altimeter #2, air conditioning ducts and more.

The ruptured pipe was made of stainless steel connecting the green hydraulic system to the right hand wing spoiler control valve and was located between frames 25 and 26. The crack was about 2.5 cm (1 inch) long. The line had been installed during aircraft production and had not been removed or replaced since.

Laboratory examination revealed the pipe had a linear defect running along the inner surface of the pipe, which coincided with the base of the weld inside the pipe. "The pipe had failed due to fatigue originating at the edge of the linear defect and progressing through to the outer surface."

British Aerospace developed a plastics sealed envelope around the hydraulic pipe between frames 25 and 26 in order to contain any escaped hydraulic fluid and channel it to the cabin floor. An according service bulletin was issued in October 2010 and updated December 2010. EASA made the implementation of the service bulletin mandatory by releasing an air worthiness directive in November 2011.

The investigation did not release any safety recommendation being satisfied with the safety action already taken by British Aerospace and EASA.
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Oct 27, 2009


ICAO Type Designator

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