Woman was hospitalised after jumping out of FlyBe ‘fire’ flight

The FlyBe plane after the emergency landing at Aldergrove in 2014.
The FlyBe plane after the emergency landing at Aldergrove in 2014.

A woman was hospitalised with chest pains after jumping out of a FlyBe plane operating the Glasgow to Belfast route popular with Londonderry travellers, shortly before Christmas 2014.

A number of other passengers suffered cuts and bruises in an emergency evacuation after an engine caught fire.

A newly-published report on the incident shows that the incident was sparked by a cracked washer in one of the plane’s engines.

This affected the engine’s oil supply, led to friction rubs, and ultimately a fire.

Late last year the engine manufacturer issued an alert recommending the inspection and replacement of similar washers in all units.

According to the new report, published by the Department of Transport’s Air Accidents Investigations Branch (AAIB), the plane landed safely at Aldergrove but some of the 76 passengers had difficulties evacuating.

“The cabin crew member at the rear of the aircraft initially opened the rear left exit and, on seeing no signs of fire, instructed the passengers to evacuate,” the report states.

“She then opened the rear right exit and passengers evacuated through both these exits. Some passengers were surprised at the height they were required to jump, as the rear exits are not fitted with slides, and some passengers fell on landing, incurring minor cuts and bruises,” it adds.

One of the passengers was hospitalised, the report states.

“There were no serious injuries; however, one lady was taken to hospital as a precaution, suffering from anxiety and chest pains. She was released from hospital later that evening.”

The AAIB pointed out that the engine manufacturer took action last year in relation to similar models.

“In December 2015, the engine manufacturer issued an Alert Service Bulletin, SB A35325, requiring specialist internal inspection of engines to be carried out, in a time span dictated by the service life of the No 4 bearing key washer.

“In addition, the engine manual has been revised to instruct the replacement of the key washer upon access, and SB 35326 was issued in December 2015 to instruct replacement of the key washer at engine shop visits, regardless of the reason for engine removal. The engine manufacturer also introduced a new improved key washer in February 2016, as indicated in SB 35327.”