Aer Lingus ATR: AAIB Report

Aer Lingus ATR
Photo Credit: DaHuzyBru, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

The AAIB has reported a serious incident involving an Aer Lingus (EI) ATR during its approach into Belfast City.

This article will cover the details surrounding the AAIB’s report regarding the Aer Lingus ATR issues during approach.

Aer Lingus ATR Incident


Photo Credit: AAIB

On September 19, 2022, an Aer Lingus ATR 72-600 registered as EI-GPN on approach to Belfast City Airport (BHD) lost a number of aircraft systems.

The AAIB (Air Accidents Investigation Branch) this week has released its report covering this incident.

During the approach, without a specified procedure to follow, the flight crew had turned off the aircrafts TRU (Transformer Rectifier Unit).

The TRU being turned off was part of the reaction from the flight crew experiencing the natural effects of startle and surprise.

The aircraft was operating under an OEB (Operations Engineering Bulletin) which had required the TRU to be continually powered.

The TRU had to remain continually powered due to the failure of an electrical contactor.

Failure of this contactor disconnected the DC output from the TRU to the Standby and Emergency bus bars which removed electrical power to several aircraft systems.

Aer Lingus Fleet


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As part of its Aer Lingus Regional division, the operator has a total of 17 ATR 72-600s. Those of which are operated by Emerald Airlines and Emerald Airlines UK.

The UK part of Emerald Airlines operates seven of the 17 ATR 72-600s, mainly out of Belfast City Airport.

ATRs & Operators Response


Following this incident, the French manufacturer has taken a safety action which will improve its guidance for flight crew when they are operating under the OEB.

Alongside this, ATR have also removed the requirement to operate with the TRU permanently powered.

Additionally, Aer Lingus will be adopting a rule-based method for managing pilot startle. This will help them manage workload and maximise situational awareness during approach.

Overall


Overall, understanding this incidents detail will certainly help, not just Aer Lingus, but also other ATR 72 operators.

They will all be able to adopt these new procedures issued by ATR for their flight crews in understanding how to handle this incident.

Additionally, these new procedures will also help keep flight crews calm in the event that this does happen during the very busy stages of an approach to land.

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By Jamie Clarke 3 Min Read
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