View Full Version : Flybe Emergency BHD

12th Dec 2002, 16:15
Reports suggest the Aircraft experienced a severe uncommanded movement whilst approaching BHD.

First reports suggest that four persons, including two cabin crew have been injured.

Injuries believed to include a broken leg.

Aircraft landed normally and taxied to stand.

Sensible Garage
12th Dec 2002, 16:22
Thursday, 12 December, 2002, 16:58 GMT
Four injured in air emergency

The flight was bound for Belfast City airport

Four people have been injured during an emergency on a flight from Birmingham to Belfast.
The crew of the Flybe aircraft, formerly British European, reported an emergency situation on Thursday after the plane had undergone a severe and unexpected movement during the flight to Belfast City Airport.

A male flight attendant suffered a broken leg when he was knocked to the ground while a female crew member sprained her ankle.

Another crew member suffered head injuries and all three were taken to hospital.

A passenger also suffered minor head injuries but did not need hospital treatment.

One passenger on the plane said the aircraft shuddered violently before going into a brief nosedive.

Safe landing

He said the pilot quickly brought it under control and circled a few times before landing at Belfast.

Belfast City Airport put its emergency plan into action but the plane landed safely and on time.

In a statement, Flybe said the BAe 146-200 aircraft was carrying 36 passengers and five crew.

It said: "The flight-deck crew immediately controlled the situation but unfortunately as a consequence of this incident, two members of cabin crew and a number of passengers incurred minor injuries."

A full investigation into the incident by the airline and the Department of Transport has been launched.

crew shaken but ok in hospital

Localiser Green
12th Dec 2002, 16:26
Don't usually pay too much attention to the media hype but:

"One passenger on the plane said the aircraft shuddered violently before going into a brief nosedive."

Sounds to me (rather frighteningly) like the onset of heavy buffet followed by a stall recovery?

Don't fly the 146 and don't want to speculate, but for what other reason would the crew push the nose forward so violently?

This is the BBC News Online (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/2570583.stm) story.

12th Dec 2002, 16:43
If you don't want to speculate... why did you just speculate? :rolleyes:

It could be anything... CAT... wake... rotor... let the investigators do their job.

Do you have any idea how hard it is to accidentally stall a 146? Nope, didn't think so...

How do you know the crew pushed the nose down?

Not a journo, are you...??? :rolleyes:

12th Dec 2002, 18:02
A male flight attendant suffered a broken leg when he was knocked to the ground

Dunno the alt of the a/c, but seems to me the FA was fortunate indeed to suffer nothing worse than a broken leg after getting knocked to the ground.

12th Dec 2002, 18:39
Hey MOR - Were you there? Can you say for sure what happened? Nope, didn't think so. Everybody gets a say around here that is why they call it a "FORUM". Have a coke and a smile and learn to lighten up. :rolleyes: :D

Localiser Green
12th Dec 2002, 19:38
"Do you have any idea how hard it is to accidentally stall a 146? Nope, didn't think so...

How do you know the crew pushed the nose down?"

Well I don't know... i suppose that's why I asked the question.... hence the question mark :rolleyes:

If you read my post you would see that I never suggested the crew accidently stalled the aircraft. Neither will my contribution have any impact whatsoever in allowing an investigative team "do their job".

Sheesh, pilots! May not have been doing this very long mate but I do hope sometimes I won't turn out like half of you lot.

12th Dec 2002, 20:04
Being relatively new to the PRUNE FORUMS, i cant help but to
notice the amount of bickering and 'ego jousting' between pilots.
Being a musician/entertainer i thought 'us lot' had cornered that
market......but i see we have competition........


12th Dec 2002, 20:09
Oh, do please grow up. you said:

for what other reason would the crew push the nose forward so violently?

... which clearly implies the crew did so.

never suggested the crew accidently stalled the aircraft

Meaning they did it on purpose? :rolleyes:

12th Dec 2002, 21:16

I thought my business had that title. DJs have the biggest ego, but I see where your going. All we want is the facts, nothing else. The fact of the matter is, is that a few of the 'pilots' here are handbag swinging bee-atchs who just want to PUSH their point across no matter what!

12th Dec 2002, 21:45
Getting back to the original topic, it seems that good airmanship and altitude enabled the crew to recover the AC. What is really scary here is if the aircraft had of been over Kinnegar or Connswater when this event occurred.

12th Dec 2002, 22:31
severe uncommanded movement?

one would imagine there were quite a few of those in the slf


13th Dec 2002, 00:42
spoke to this aircraft today on it's departue
cruising level was FL240 i seem to recall
if that helps but no reports over the irish sea of turb

13th Dec 2002, 02:29
Neither will my contribution have any impact whatsoever in allowing an investigative team "do their job".

Cheer up, some of us keep an open mind and listen/read.

An investigator

13th Dec 2002, 03:52
Discussion of uncommanded pitch oscillations in the 146 going on in D & G

BAe 146 (http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=71056&perpage=15&pagenumber=1)

13th Dec 2002, 10:07
Stick Push for some reason?

2 BE or not 2 BE
13th Dec 2002, 10:24
The BAe 146 has long been regarded as one of the world’s slowest commercial jets. And it just got a lot slower.

Several recent severe pitch oscillation events in Europe caused G-loadings so great that the manufacturer is now worried that a misbehaving autopilot might induce forces so severe that they would cause a catastrophic airframe failure – likely to be fatal for all on board.

The cause of the violent pitch oscillations is believed to be the aircraft’s ageing single-channel analog autopilot system – a system that has been out of production for fifteen years.

In accordance with advice from the manufacturer, categorised as “critical to flight safety”, BAe 146 aircraft not fitted with the latest version “elevator damper” are now restricted to a maximum speed of 225 knots - 80 knots slower than their normal maximum speed.

It is not known how many of the Australian fleet of BAe 146s are fitted with the “elevator damper”.

The speed restriction is the latest in a series of safety scares relating to the British-built short-haul jet. Previous concerns focussed on cabin air quality after dozens of pilots and flight attendants found themselves suffering long-term detrimental health effects after flying on the BAe 146.

:( :( :(

13th Dec 2002, 11:28
There seems to be a little scaremongering going on here.

The (very rare) pitch oscillation is not as violent as this event seems to have been, particularly in the cabin- it is at its most severe at either end of the aircraft. The few events to date have not been violent enough to toss cabin crew about- it isn't that sort of motion- more a rapid oscillation of a few inches.

BA addressed the issue by issuing a variable speed limit, to aircraft not equipped with a very simple damper mod, to address the theoretical possibility of structural damage if an oscillation event occurs at high speed. It is not 225 knots, in fact it varies with weight and fuel mass. It is only limited to 225 knots if wing tank fuel falls below about 2200 kg for a -300 series, or around 2700 for a -200 series- in other words, not much fuel at all (you typically land with 2200 or more if you take plog fuel).

In normal flying, the limit usually falls around 275-280 kts which is not far off Vmo anyway.

Most aircraft will be modded within the next few months, its a simple fix.

And- 2 BE or not 2BE- if you really think this is the "latest in a series of safety scares" (I realise you were quoting), I for one would much rather by tooling about in my 146 than most aircraft- there has never been a fatality due to an aircraft structural or mechanical problem on the 146- unlike 737s that roll over and dive into the ground or lose their roofs... (sorry 737 drivers, not picking on you, just making the point). Also, more people have been affected by fumes on 757s than the 146...

13th Dec 2002, 11:49
I have read with interest posts on this and other forums.I would like, please, an attributable bona fide reference to substantiate the statement made by 2BE or not 2BE that pitch oscillation is attributable to 'a misbehaving autopilot'.

Raw Data
13th Dec 2002, 12:10
soddit , I think s/he was quoting a poorly researched piece of journalism.

None of the reasons put forward thus far for pitch oscillation include an autopilot- although it may be possible that a misbehaving autopilot might exacerbate an event, if left connected. As the memory drill calls for immediate disconnection of the autopilot, it is unlikely to be a factor.

13th Dec 2002, 12:37
Thank you Raw Data. I am interested to see if the reference I have asked for is forthcoming since I have no knowledge of this. All Operator Message 02/014V ( which is the relevant one with the speed restrictions pending incorporation of Service Bulletin 27-169-01692A) was entirely clear on the subject. Please send me a private message.

13th Dec 2002, 12:40
Midlands Today Headline:

Terror! As aircraft SPINS out of control!

Talk about scare mongering!!! :rolleyes:

13th Dec 2002, 14:41
Anyone any idea who the Cpt was??? I've a couple of friends in that dept I don't keep in touch with half enough - just wondering - perhaps that's info though that can't be posted here??

Just glad they sorted the problem out - I live close to the descent flightpath into BHD and wouldn't like to contemplate anything coming down a shade earlier than it's meant to!! :cool:


14th Dec 2002, 11:07
Well done to those up the front.

Sympathies to the Cabin crew and passengers who were injured.

13th Feb 2003, 11:17
To update...

1 ULSTER Air 12:14GMT 13FEB03
PA NewsfeedGFX
A build-up of ice or of de-icing fluid on a Flybe aircraft might have been the cause of an air emergency in which four people were injured last December, according to an official report published today.
But the Air Accident Investigation Branch of the Department of Transport said it had failed to find conclusive reasons for the incident and further investigations would be carried out.
The crew of the aircraft reported an emergency situation after the plane underwent a “severe and unexpected movement” during a flight from Birmingham to Belfast City Airport on December 12.
The UK Low Level Forecast for the route warned of severe icing in freezing rain and moderate icing in cloud, said the report.
When the BAe 146-200 with 36 passengers and five crew pitched and shuddered violently a male flight attendant fell, breaking his leg, a female colleague suffered a broken ankle and a third attendant and a passenger suffered minor head injuries.
The plane landed safely in Belfast after the captain and co-pilot regained control and levelled the aircraft.
The AAIB said initial analysis of data showed symptoms of increased stiffness in the elevator servo tabs in the control system, possibly due to freezing of the tabs to the elevators’ trailing edges.
It said at this time there was insufficient evidence to reach specific conclusions on the cause of the stiffness, but a further investigation would examine the possibility of natural airframe icing, the effects of de-icing fluid residues and the implications of component failures within the pitch control system.
The report revealed that, when the aircraft elevators were disassembled, bearings which should have contained grease were found to contain “a dried, almost powdery residue which provided no lubrication properties”.
It added: “This raises concerns that moisture ingress into the bearing cage void could cause the bearings to seize as the moisture freezes in flight.”
It said it was believed the bearings had been on the aircraft since it was manufactured in 1989.
The plane was put back into service a week after the incident, the airline said today.

13th Feb 2003, 13:27
Last year all our fllet of 146`s had to have their elevator assemblies dismantled and cleaned after it was found that years worth of de-icing fluid was jamming the controls. It was only discovered after an pitch jam incident going into BHX. Apparently Crossair had known about it for years, but had never informed BAe.

13th Feb 2003, 13:41
Can anyone from flybe confirm that the P1 & P2 who were flying have been suspended since the incident?

(As an aside, interesting decision I thought to continue across the Irish Sea and then to land on the shortest runway in the area, particularly with an undiagnosed flight control problem.....but maybe that's just me)

carlos vandango
13th Feb 2003, 18:21
They're both back at work.