Aircraft accident news

Engine door falls off but aircraft accident averted

The budget airline Flybe has changed its maintenance procedures after a potential aircraft accident, with the consequences of possible passenger injury or death, was avoided at Southampton Airport.

An Air Accidents Investigation Branch report has revealed that as the Dash8 aircraft took off for Newcastle with 40 passengers on board, an engine door panel came loose and fell back on to the airfield. The incident was seen by another pilot sitting in another plane who told air traffic control.

Although neither the flight crew nor passengers had been aware of any problem, the captain of the small jet decided to return to the airport and landed safely.

The falling panel had slightly damaged the leading edge of one wing.

The official report said that the captain had checked the aircraft before take off and a de-icing crew, which had worked on it the previous night, had not noticed anything wrong. However, it concluded the failure of the hatch to be safely closed must have been due to a human error during servicing.

Flybe management said that since the incident its maintenance procedures had been changed and greater emphasis placed on the importance of the security of hatches.

If an aircraft accident had occurred, resulting in personal injury to anyone, the airline or airport authorities could have been found liable and required to pay compensation for pain, suffering or loss of earnings to victims who made a claim.


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