Narrative:The accident happened when the aircraft was climbing through 17,300 feet on departure from Birmingham. The left windscreen, which had been replaced prior to the flight, was blown out under effects of the cabin pressure when it overcame the retention of the securing bolts, 84 of which, out of a total of 90, were of smaller than specified diameter. The commander was sucked halfway out of the windscreen aperture and was restrained by cabin crew whilst the co-pilot flew the aircraft to a safe landing at Southampton Airport.
Probable Cause:The following factors contributed to the loss of the windscreen:
- A safety critical task, not identified as a 'Vital Point', was undertaken by one individual who also carried total responsibility for the quality achieved and the installation was not tested until the aircraft was airborne on a passenger carrying flight.
- The Shift Maintenance Manager's potential to achieve quality in the windscreen fitting process was eroded by his inadequate care, poor trade practices, failure to adhere to company standards and use of unsuitable equipment, which were judged symptomatic of a longer term failure by him to observe the promulgated procedures.
- The British Airways local management, Product Samples and Quality Audits had not detected the existence of inadequate standards employed by the Shift Maintenance Manager because they did not monitor directly the working practices of Shift Maintenance Managers.
Forced landing on runway
Official accident investigation report
Follow-up / safety actions
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not
display the exact flight path.
Distance from Birmingham International Airport to Málaga Airport as the crow flies is 1755 km (1097 miles).