KLM B744 near Hong Kong on Jun 4th 2017, turbulence injures 8

Last Update: July 28, 2021 / 13:45:41 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Jun 4, 2017

Classification
Accident

Airline
KLM

Flight number
KL-887

Destination
Hong Kong, China

Aircraft Registration
PH-BFR

Aircraft Type
Boeing 747-400

ICAO Type Designator
B744

A KLM Boeing 747-400, registration PH-BFR performing flight KL-887 (dep Jun 3rd) from Amsterdam (Netherlands) to Hong Kong (China) with 261 passengers and 13 crew, was enroute at 8900 meters (FL291) about 30-40 minutes prior to landing in Hong Kong when the aircraft encountered severe turbulence for a couple of seconds causing passengers to be thrown against the cabin ceiling and then the floor. About 15 minutes later, already descending towards Hong Kong, the crew advised ATC of injuries on board and requested emergency services and medical staff to meet the aircraft upon arrival. The aircraft continued for a safe landing on Hong Kong's runway 25R about 30-40 minutes later. A total of 9 people were medically assessed at the airport, 8 of them were taken to a hospital.

Passengers reported the turbulence lasted 3-4 seconds, everything not secured properly was thrown against the ceiling and then against the floor. The fasten seat belt signs were not illuminated at the time and did not come on.

The airline reported 6 passengers and 2 crew received minor injuries, 3 passengers and 2 crew were already discharged from hospital after checks.

Local Authorities reported a 7th passenger was medically assessed and declined treatment/being taken to a hospital after examination.

The occurrence aircraft remained on the ground in Hong Kong for 7 hours, then departed for the return flight with a delay of 4:20 hours.

On Jul 28th 2021 the Dutch Onderzoeksraad (DSB) reported, that the aircraft encountered a rapidly developing cumulus cloud a short distance from their trajectory that they no longer could completely avoid. The fasten seat belt signs had not yet been illuminated, not all passengers were in their seats with the seat belts fastened, cabin crew was working in the cabin. The crew reduced the airspeed to dampen the shock and tried to deviate around the cloud as much as possible, however, could not avoid severe turbulence resulting in two cabin crew being injured to a point, where they could no longer continue duties, and causing injuries to six passengers. Two medicians amongst the passengers took care of the injured.

The DSB concluded that this was not a case of flying into turbulence due to inadequate meteorlogical information or incorrect use of such information. In this case it was an individual cloud that was not noticed in time by the crew. The weather information available was adequate, the on board weather radar was operating normally and was receiving sufficient returns from that cloud to detect the presence of that cloud in time. It was found plausible however, that during the approach while in instrument meteorological conditions the angle of the weather radar might influence the dimensions and activity of the cloud masking its maturity. The occurrence took place at flight stage of high work load, typical for flights to Hong Kong, paired with a low of the circadian rythm of the crew. The investigation was conducted thoroughly however suffered unacceptable delays, the DSB hence decided to release only this short note.
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Jun 4, 2017

Classification
Accident

Airline
KLM

Flight number
KL-887

Destination
Hong Kong, China

Aircraft Registration
PH-BFR

Aircraft Type
Boeing 747-400

ICAO Type Designator
B744

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