EU agrees new rules to shield air crew whistleblowers

Airline crew members will be shielded from reprisals when they report incidents to air safety authorities, according to new legislation agreed by all EU institutions yesterday (17 December).

The European Parliament’s transport committee endorsed a compromise text yesterday (17 December), negotiated with EU member states earlier in December, on new EU rules aimed at strengthening air safety and accident prevention, also known as the regulation on “occurrence reporting.

Read more on Europa Press

Flybe – Paris – 2014

On January 4, 2014, a Flybe Dash 8-400 from Geneva en route to Wales made an emergency landing in Paris.

Eye witness reported on Twitter the crew was concerned with left engine, but later stated it was due to hydraulic failure.

Hydraulic failure

Germanwings – Vienna – 2013

On December 21, 2013, a Germanwings Airbus A319-100, registration D-AGWQ performing flight 4U-7286 from Hamburg (Germany) to Klagenfurt (Austria), was enroute at FL370 in Czech airspace about 95nm northnorthwest of Vienna (Austria) when the crew reported a cracked windshield and requested a descent.

The aircraft landed safely in Vienna 75 minutes after scheduled landing at Klagenfurt.

Cracked windshield

Hop – Milan – 2013

On September 15, 2013, a Hop Canadair CRJ-700, registration F-GRZE performing flight DB-4526/AF-5337 from Lyon (France) to Venice (Italy), was enroute near Milan (Italy) when the crew declared emergency reporting problems with the flight controls. The aircraft diverted to Milan’s Malpensa Airport for a safe landing.

Following investigations, it appears that the aircraft experienced a roll and yaw trim malfunction.

Roll and yaw trim malfunction

Pegasus – Istanbul – 2013

On December 4, 2013, a Pegasus Boeing 737-800, registration TC-AAE performing flight PC-705 from Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen (Turkey) to Milan Bergamo (Italy) suffered a bird strike shortly after take-off, according to eye witness. A replacement Boeing was provided later on.

Bird strike

Ryanair – Seville – 2013

On November 8, 2013, a Ryanair Boeing 737-800, registration EI-DPF performing flight FR-2355 from Tangier (Morocco) to Dusseldorf Niederrhein (Germany) diverted to Seville (Spain) after passengers reported fumes on board.

The aircraft landed safely, and an investigation was opened.

Fume on board

Air Nostrum – San Sebastian – 2013

On October 25, 2013, an An Air Nostrum Canadair CRJ-900 on behalf of Iberia, registration EC-JYA performing flight YW-8322/IB-8322 from Madrid,SP to San Sebastian,SP (Spain) damaged its landing gear following a strong deceleration after the touch down.

Damaged landing gear

Aeroflot – Krakow – Warsaw – 2013

On September 1st, 2013, an Aeroflot Sukhoi Superjet 100-95, registration RA-89005 performing flight SU-2004 from Moscow Sheremetyevo (Russia) to Krakow (Poland) with 74 people on board, was on approach to Krakow when the crew received indication of a slats malfunction, stopped the descent at 4000 feet, worked the relevant checklists and decided to divert to Warsaw (Poland) for a flaps up landing. The aircraft climbed to FL100 for the diversion and landed safely on Warsaw’s runway 33 at a higher than normal speed about 75 minutes after aborting the approach to Krakow.

Flapless landing

Ryanair – Dortmund – 2013

On September 18, 2013, a Ryanair Boeing 737-800, registration EI-DAK performing flight FR-2037 from Palma Mallorca,SP (Spain) to Dortmund (Germany), was on approach to Dortmund’s runway 24 when the aircraft was struck by lightning. The aircraft continued for a safe landing on runway 24. The return flight FR-2038 needed to be postponed to the next day. A replacement Boeing 737-800 registration EI-ENT reached Mallorca with a delay of 11 hours.

Lightning strike

Easyjet – Pisa – 2013

On September 14, 2013, an Easyjet Airbus A319-100, registration G-EZIZ performing flight U2-5232 from Pisa (Italy) to London Gatwick,EN (UK), was in the initial climb out of Pisa’s runway 04R when the crew reported a bird strike into an engine (CFM56). The crew stopped the climb at 3000 feet and returned to Pisa for a safe landing on runway 04R about 35 minutes after departure. The airport was closed for about one hour due to the emergency.

Bird strike

Air Berlin – Nuremberg – 2013

On September 11, 2013 an Air Berlin Airbus A321-200, registration D-ABCF performing flight AB-9152 from Berlin Tegel (Germany) to Palma Mallorca,SP (Spain) with 140 passengers, was enroute at FL350 about 50nm north of Nuremberg (Germany) when the crew decided to divert to Nuremberg due to an unusual, unidentifyable smell near the lavatory. The aircraft landed safely, however two cabin crew members were taken to a hospital, where they were diagnosed with smoke inhalation.

Unusual inhalation

Flybe – Newquay – 2013

On September 3rd, 2013, a Flybe de Havilland Dash 8-400, registration G-JECR performing flight BE-806 from London Gatwick,EN to Newquay,EN (UK) with 44 people on board, was enroute when passengers alerted the crew of seeing fluid exiting an engine. The aircraft continued to Newquay for a safe landing with emergency services on stand by. The aircraft vacated the runway and stopped on the taxiway, the passengers disembarked onto the taxiway and were bussed to the terminal.

Hydraulic leak

Ryanair – Tenerife – 2013

On August 20, 2013, Ryanair Boeing 737-800, registration EI-EMI performing flight FR-1228 from Tenerife Sur Reina Sofia,CI (Spain) to Billund (Denmark) with 177 passengers, was climbing out of Tenerife’s runway 08 when the crew stopped the climb at FL070 reporting engine trouble, descended the aircraft to 4000 feet to burn off fuel and returned to Tenerife for a safe landing on runway 08 about 2 hours after departure.

Engine problem

Ryanair – Bremen – 2013

On August 16, 2013, a Ryanair Boeing 737-800, registration EI-EGD performing flight FR-7602 from Bremen (Germany) to Vilnius (Lithuania) with 164 passengers, rejected takeoff from Bremen’s runway 09 at low speed after the crew noticed a strong odour in the cockpit. The aircraft slowed safely and returned to the apron.

Rejected take-off

Ryanair – Faro – 2013

On August 12, 2013, a Ryanair Boeing 737-800, registration EI-ESL performing flight FR-6370 from Barcelona,SP (Spain) to Las Palmas,CI (Spain) with 168 passengers, was enroute at FL370 about 170nm southwest of Faro (Portugal) when the crew reported engine (CFM56) trouble, turned around and diverted to Faro for a safe landing on runway 28 about 45 minutes later.

Engine problem

Wizz Air – Ukraine – 2013

On May 20, 2013, a Wizz Air Ukraine Airbus A320-200, registration UR-WUB performing flight WU-6104 from Memmingen (Germany) to Kiev Zhulhany (Ukraine), landed on Zhulhany Airport’s runway 08 in turbulent conditions resulting in a hard touch down

Hard Landing

Fybe – Amsterdam – 2013

On July 16th, 2013, a Flybe de Havilland Dash 8-400, registration G-ECOE performing flight BE-101 from Birmingham,EN (UK) to Amsterdam (Netherlands), was descending towards Amsterdam when the crew reported a hydraulic leak and requested to be towed off the runway.

Hydraulic leak

Ryanair – Alicante – Valencia – 2012 – 2010

The Spanish CIAIAC release their report regarding the incidents that occurred in Alicante (May 14, 2012) and in Valencia (June 26, 2012) when four Ryanair aircraft declared fuel emergency.

The probable causes were:

The company’s fuel savings policy, though it complies with the minimum legal requirements, tends to minimize the amount of fuel with which its airplanes operate and leaves none for contingencies below the legal minimums. This contributed to the amount of fuel used being improperly planned and to the amount of fuel onboard dropping below the required final fuel reserve.

The incident was caused by the crew’s inadequate decision-making process in opting to make a second approach, in the choice of alternate airport and in the flight parameters used en route to that airport, which resulted in the fuel amount dropping below the required minimum reserve fuel and in the crew declaring an emergency (MAYDAY).

Another contributing factor was the wind information provided by ATC to the crew when preparing the approach to runway 28. This information, though accurate, did not give the crew a clear picture of the changing wind conditions, which would have facilitated their making more suitable decisions.

Final report

Germanwings – Cologne – 2013

On June 21, 2013 Germanwings Airbus A319-100, registration D-AKNG performing flight 4U-396 from Cologne (Germany) to Dublin (Ireland) with 127 passengers, had just reached cruise level 360 about 210nm northwest of Cologne over the North Sea when passengers complained about feeling unwell due to smell of chlorine on board of the aircraft.

Smell of chlorine on board

Iberia Express – Frankfurt – 2013

On 21, June 2013, an Iberia Express Airbus A320-200, registration EC-FGV performing flight I2-3645 from Frankfurt/Main (Germany) to Madrid,SP (Spain), was climbing out of Frankfurt’s runway 18 when the left hand engine (CFM56) emitted a series of bangs and emitted streaks of flames.

Streaks of flame in the engine


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