Emirates A388 near Hong Kong on Feb 11th 2013, whistling door, passenger claims door opened in flight

Last Update: February 17, 2013 / 12:49:58 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Feb 11, 2013

Classification
Incident

Flight number
EK-384

Destination
Hong Kong, China

Aircraft Registration
A6-EDT

Aircraft Type
Airbus A380-800

ICAO Type Designator
A388

An Emirates Airlines Airbus A380-800, registration A6-EDT performing flight EK-384 from Bangkok (Thailand) to Hong Kong (China), had been enroute at FL410. While descending towards Hong Kong one of the upper deck cabin doors began to emanate a loud whistling sound as result of a small dimensional difference between the inflated door seal and the door lower frame striker plate, cabin crew placed blankets around the door to abate the noise. The aircraft continued for a safe landing in Hong Kong 130 minutes after departure from Bangkok.

The aircraft departed Hong Kong for its return flight EK-385 on schedule 4 hours after landing and reached Dubai via Bangkok without incident and on schedule.

The UK's Daily Mail is quoting a passenger, who claims to hold a private pilot's license and reported, that a cabin door popped like a bomb going off and a gap opened in that door in flight, while the aircraft was at FL270 about 2 hours into the flight. The door became very noisy making any communication difficult, the cabin became freezing. Flight attendants used blankets and pillows to fill the gap, the aircraft did not divert for an emergency landing but continued for a landing in Hong Kong. A photo, that the passenger submitted to the Daily Mail, shows blankets and pillows at the bottom of the cabin door.

The airline confirmed a whistling noise from one of the cabin doors during the descent towards Hong Kong. On Sunday, Feb 17th, the airline added, that none of the cabin doors did open in flight, no loss of cabin pressure occurred even though there was whistling noise from one of the upper deck cabin doors. Blankets were placed around the door to abate the whistling sound. This noise was caused by a small dimensional difference between the inflated door seal and the door lower frame striker plate while the door was in the closed position. This is currently being investigated in cooperation with Airbus, the issue has been fixed. The airline confirmed the panel identified by the Daily Mail as showing a door open indication is in fact the Attendant Indication Panel (AIP) (see below).

Airbus stated that the door can not open in flight, it opens inwards, the cabin pressure is higher than the ambient pressure and keeps the door tightly shut and in place.

The website of the United Arab Emirates GCAA (General Civil Aviation Authority), usually showing opened investigations immediately, does not show an open investigation for that flight as per Feb 17th 12:45Z.

Photos, see Emirates A388 in flight over Iran and Emirates A388 in flight over Saudi Arabia posted on airliners.net, show the green indication too that the Daily Mail falsely claimed to be an open door indication (the claim was withdrawn on Feb 17th), these flights in March 2011 and July 2012 however had no incident. The panel initially identified as a door open indication by the Daily Mail is the "Attendant Indication Panel" (AIP), according to Airbus an alphanumeric display with 2 lines a 16 characters with a red/pink and a green light as "attention getters". Another panel at the aft frame, not visible in the published photo, indicates the status of the door and slide.

The Daily Mail had also reported the fall of a United Boeing 757, which according to the Daily Mail quoting a passenger had plunged more than 20,000 feet ("Passengers said the aircraft suddenly 'dipped like a ferry' and cabin crew 'ran down the aisles' while the plane spent two hours flying back in the direction it came from"), see United Airlines jet makes emergency landing after plunging 20,000ft while half-way across the Atlantic, the story completely contradicted by facts as the aircraft drifted down from FL390 to FL280 in a very controlled flight following an engine shut down, see our report of the event at: Incident: United B752 over Atlantic on Jul 15th 2012, engine shut down in flight.
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Feb 11, 2013

Classification
Incident

Flight number
EK-384

Destination
Hong Kong, China

Aircraft Registration
A6-EDT

Aircraft Type
Airbus A380-800

ICAO Type Designator
A388

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