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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 170754
Last updated: 19 July 2020
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Date:31-OCT-2014
Time:11:15
Type:Silhouette image of generic B753 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 757-3CQ (WL)
Owner/operator:Thomas Cook Airlines
Registration: G-JMAB
C/n / msn: 32242/963
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 249
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Minor
Category:Serious incident
Location:over Langton Green, Tunbridge Wells, Kent -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:London-Gatwick Airport (LGW/EGKK)
Destination airport:Hurghada Airport (HRG/HEGN)
Investigating agency: AAIB
Narrative:
A Boeing 757-300, operating flight TCX1638 from London-Gatwick to Hurghada, lost the overwing emergency slide overhead Tunbridge Wells in Kent, England.
The flight departed London-Gatwick's runway 26L at 09:13 local time. During the takeoff run, at a reported 70 kt, the 'r wing slide' advisory message appeared on the Engine Indication and Crew Alerting System (EICAS). The captain advised the co-pilot, who was pilot flying (PF), to continue the takeoff. The crew decided they would continue with the departure and assess the situation when the aircraft was safely established in the climb. The crew diagnosed that the warning was probably spurious and continued the climb. The flight climbed on to FL330. Meanwhile the crew contacted company operations to alert them to the problem and this consultation resulted in the crew deciding to return to Gatwick Airport.
While over Liège, Belgium, the airplane turned around. The airplane entered a holding pattern southeast of Gatwick to burn off fuel.
After approximately 40 minutes of holding, ATC vectored the aircraft to a normal approach onto runway 26L at Gatwick. The aircraft was on base leg, descending to 3,000 ft at a speed of 188 kt with flaps 20 selected, when some of the cabin crew and passengers heard a number of bangs or felt a brief period of airframe “shuddering”. Two passengers reported seeing a white object detach from the aircraft on the right side. The cabin manager passed this information to the flight crew.
The crew established the aircraft on final approach and selected flaps 30. Shortly afterwards the commander noticed that the control yoke was offset to the left and commented that the autopilot seemed to be “struggling” to maintain wings level. He disconnected the autopilot and took manual control of the aircraft. He reported that a “significant amount of left aileron” was required to maintain the centreline, although the aircraft remained fully controllable.
The commander landed the aircraft and taxied onto the parallel taxiway where the aircraft was shut down. Subsequently, following inspection by the fire and rescue service and engineers, it was discovered that the right over-wing slide had detached from the aircraft.
The aircraft was then towed to a stand where the passengers were able to disembark normally. The total flight time was 2 hours 6 minutes.

Conclusion
The right over-wing slide carrier deployed in flight, allowing the slide to unravel possibly as a result of the crank handle with a reduced breakout friction progressively moving, over an indeterminate period of time, to an unsafe position. A contributory factor was possibly the loose number 6 screw jack in the flap system which resulted in vibration in the area of the crank handle. The insecurity of the lever went undetected whilst the maintenance panel was open due to the lack of alignment marks and unfamiliarity of the observer(s) with how the crank handle should look when correctly positioned. SB 757‑25-0298 addresses locking of the compartment door and provides revised and clearer alignment placards for the lever.

Sources:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/453134/AAIB_Bulletin_8-2015.pdf

Safety recommendations:

Safety recommendation 2015-022 issued 5 August 2015 by AAIB to FAA
Safety recommendation 2015-023 issued 5 August 2015 by AAIB to EASA; FAA

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


Images:

Photo of G-JMAB courtesy AirHistory.net


Tenerife Sur - Reina Sofia (GCTS / TFS)
29 April 2018; (c) Danny Grew


Photo: AAIB

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
31-Oct-2014 15:33 harro Added
31-Oct-2014 15:42 harro Updated [Narrative]
05-Nov-2014 20:08 Dr. John Smith Updated [Destination airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
10-Nov-2014 01:18 Dr. John Smith Updated [Embed code]
13-Aug-2015 16:28 harro Updated [Total occupants, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
02-Dec-2019 20:42 harro Updated [Photo]

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