Belfast Telegraph

Shut-off air conditioning led to Mayday on Belfast jet

Flybe said it had taken action to
Flybe said it had taken action to "ensure that the chances of such an event reoccurring are significantly minimised" (stock photo)

By Conor Riordan

A Mayday was declared on a flight from Belfast to Edinburgh after a catering problem before take-off led to the crew struggling with workloads and mistakes being made, according to a report.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) also said problems with the temperature control system had not been recorded in a paper log on board the Flybe aircraft last September 21, meaning crew members were unaware of the issue.

The heating issues saw passengers and staff being uncomfortable during a previous flight, so the commander decided to reset the air conditioning system.

He was then interrupted by trying to help resolve the catering issue - a lack of drinking water for staff - and did not complete the procedure before take-off from Belfast.

The report says both pilots returned to their stations, but their workload was "above the norm".

Air conditioning had been left off, which led to the plane not pressurising and an altitude warning sounded at 10,000ft.

A Mayday was declared, but the crew noticed the air conditioning was not operating. They switched it on and the aircraft stabilised before landing.

AAIB said in its report: "The effectiveness of the crew's actions was reduced by the high workload resulting from operational factors and by their attempts to deal with the symptoms of a technical issue with the aircraft, which had not been communicated to them."

Flybe said it had taken action to "ensure that the chances of such an event reoccurring are significantly minimised".

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