Flybe DH8D near Manchester on Feb 3rd 2016, suspected rapid loss of cabin pressure

Last Update: June 9, 2016 / 16:14:11 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Feb 3, 2016

Classification
Report

Airline
Flybe

Flight number
BE-326

Aircraft Registration
G-JECR

ICAO Type Designator
DH8D

A Flybe de Havilland Dash 8-400, registration G-JECR performing flight BE-326 from Birmingham,EN to Aberdeen,SC (UK) with 54 passengers and 4 crew, was climbing through FL170 towards FL190 out of Birmingham when the crew heard a loud metallic noise followed by the sounds of rushing air. The captain diagnosed a rapid loss of cabin pressure supported by observing the cabin altitude indicator climbing at a rapid rate and a pressurization fault indication. However, no cabin pressure warning occurred. The first officer, pilot flying, stopped the climb at FL174, both crew observed light headedness, tightness of chest and tingling in fingers, the commander therefore ordered to don the oxygen masks and an emergency descent, the aircraft was descended to FL100. Passengers and cabin crew did not hear any of the sounds but became aware of the change of aircraft attitude, the purser inquired with the flight crew and was told an emergency descent was in progress. Two flight attendants observing their ears popping and one needed oxygen. The aircraft subsequently diverted to Manchester for a landing without further incident.

The AAIB released their bulletin summarizing the occurrence with "The aircraft was climbing to Flight Level (FL) 190 but, at FL170, the crew heard a loud noise followed by the sound of rushing air and the commander suspected a rapid loss of cabin pressure. He initiated an emergency descent and both crew donned oxygen masks. The aircraft diverted to Manchester Airport, flying at FL100 with the cabin depressurised, and subsequently made an uneventful landing" and reporting the engineering investigation established the following:

The aircraft was inspected on the ground, paying particular attention to the condition of door seals – no defects were found. In accordance with the Fault Isolation Manual procedure, for the pressurisation fault light, both the Cabin Pressure Controller module and the Outflow Valve were replaced. The aircraft then underwent a pressurisation check, during which it performed normally, and afterwards returned to service. Analysis of the Flight Data Recorder indicated that a cabin pressure warning had not been annunciated, which would occur had the cabin altitude risen above 10,400 ft.

The Cabin Pressure Controller module and the Outflow Valve were returned to their manufacturer for strip examination. Testing there showed no defects with the Controller module but the Outflow Valve failed a number of tests and was found to have contamination and wear issues. It is considered that the valve was unserviceable and had been responsible for the depressurisation.
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Feb 3, 2016

Classification
Report

Airline
Flybe

Flight number
BE-326

Aircraft Registration
G-JECR

ICAO Type Designator
DH8D

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