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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 189336
Last updated: 1 April 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic B738 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 737-8AS (WL)
Registration: EI-DWS
C/n / msn: 33625/2472
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 179
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: None
Category:Serious incident
Location:Liverpool-John Lennon International Airport (LPL/EGGP) -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Alicante Airport (ALC/LEAL)
Destination airport:Liverpool-John Lennon International Airport (LPL/EGGP)
Investigating agency: AAIB
After an uneventful flight from Alicante (FR9887) the aircraft had commenced its descent into Liverpool. At FL110 the commanderís indicated airspeed (IAS) and altitude (ALT) indications became erratic followed by an altn caption on the electronic engine control (the altn caption indicates that the engine EEC is in alternate thrust setting mode in this case due to invalid
flight condition data).
The first officerís and the standby instruments were unaffected and appeared normal. The aircraft was in light to moderate icing conditions, in IMC, with a Total Air Temperature (TAT) of +8ļC. At the time the first officer was the handling pilot and autopilot B was engaged. The erroneous indications had no effect on the aircraft flight path. The crew observed that shortly after the altn caption illuminated the autothrust made erratic thrust commands so they disengaged the autothrust and flew manual thrust for the remainder of the flight. The QRH checklist for ĎAirspeed Unreliableí and EEC altn was actioned and it was confirmed that the first officerís and standby instruments were reliable data sources. The aircraft continued its descent and took up a hold at FL70 where two circuits were flown before radar vectors to the ILS Runway 09 (LPL) were resumed. Shortly after leaving the hold as the aircraft descended, the commanderís airspeed and altitude indications returned to normal and there were no further erroneous readings during the approach and landing. There was no cockpit indication of a pitot system malfunction throughout the incident.

The erroneous airspeed and altitude indication was likely to have been caused by partial and transient ice blockage of the commanderís pitot probe whilst in light to moderate icing conditions. This was as a result of the failure of the pitot probe heating element. The partial icing conclusion is supported by the fact that the blockage alleviated itself in the descent
when the IAS and ALT information returned to normal.



Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: AAIB
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report


Photo of EI-DWS courtesy

Glasgow - Prestwick (EGPK / PIK)
18 March 2011; (c) Lewis Grant

Revision history:

17-Aug-2016 14:05 harro Added

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