SPAIN’S Civil Aviation Accident and Incident Investigation Commission has published its final report after an incident involving a Ryanair aircraft over the Canary Islands last year left two people injured.
One passenger, standing at the rear of the plane waiting to use the bathroom, suffered a broken ankle when the Ryanair flight deck crew disengaged the autopilot and made a ‘sudden manual maneuver (sic)’ to avoid ‘a potential conflict’ with an easyJet aircraft. The child he was carrying hit the back of his head which caused some bruising. No-one else was injured.
The Irish-registered Boeing 737-8AS aircraft was carrying 184 passengers and six crew including the 38-year-old Italian pilot and a British co-pilot, 29, when the incident happened in Canaries airspace on February 10, 2018.
Spanish authorities revealed the aircraft, that had taken off from Edinburgh and was en route to Fuerteventura, was just 1,000 feet from colliding with an easyJet plane at one point.
The CIAIAC analysed the most significant communications between the air traffic controller and the pilots of Ryanair RYR8421 and easyJet EZY91MT – but couldn’t access the flight data recorder or cockpit voice recorder because it was unaware of the accident until several days later, by which time the data was irretrievable.
Cabin crew who were interviewed said they had not been alerted of the descent manoeuvre and all four were standing at the rear of the aircraft.
The seatbelt sign was not lit.
They described how they felt a series of violent shakes, which they initially identified as turbulence, although they went on to say that in all their years as flight attendants they had never experienced such a sudden movement in an aircraft.
Cabin crew also described how relatives of the two injured were upset and raised their voices complaining about what had happened.
The attendants asked the flight crew to request medical assistance upon landing but when they reached the parking stand the ramp agent was unaware of the request and called the airport nurse. She then called an ambulance which arrived one hour and ten minutes after the notification was made – which the crew thought was unacceptable.
The report found that, even after the landing, the flight crew did not go to see the injured individuals or ask about the condition of the passengers or crew.
The crew made the return flight the same day despite stating that they had been affected by the event.