Wednesday, January 14, 2009

EasyJet incident: Boeing 737-700 'violent pitch down'

easyJet Boeing 737-700If this doesn't take your breath away, I don't know what will: On the afternoon of January 12, 2009, a Boeing 737-700 aircraft operated by British carrier easyJet experienced a 'violent pitch down' during which it exceeded Vmo (maximum operating speed) by 100 knots, and dropped 10,000 feet. No one was injured, and the aircraft subsequently landed safely.

This startling information is set forth in a brief Preliminary Incident Report issued by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which is assisting the U.K.'s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) with its probe into the cause of the incident.

According to the NTSB, easyJet Boeing 737-73V, registered in the United Kingdom as G-EZJK, was operating as a non-revenue flight with four flight crew members on board.

An article about the incident on the aviation news website quotes from a statement issued by easyJet that says:
EasyJet can confirm that we are working with the AAIB regarding an occurrence over the North Sea involving EasyJet test flight, EZY8010 from Southend to Stansted - which diverted to Southend, on the afternoon of 12 January 2009.

We can also confirm that the only people onboard the aircraft were the Captain, the First Officer and two observers. The Boeing 737-700 was being tested as part of the hand-back procedure to its leasing company.

Unfortunately, at this stage we can not provide any additional details on the occurrence as we are collaborating with the AAIB”. The AAIB has not yet responded to questions on the event.
I'm certain that we will be hearing more about this dramatic incident in the not too distant future.

[Photo Source]

Related: Preliminary factual report on the easyJet B737-700 upset incident - Mar. 5, 2009