Event Details

Title:Access door loss and fuselage damage, Boeing 777-236B, G-VIIA
Micro summary:The crew opted to divert back to base after an access door disengaged and damaged the airframe.
Event Time:2003-06-26 at 1000 UTC
File Name:2003-06-26-UK.pdf
Publishing Agency:Aircraft Accident Investigation Board (AAIB)
Publishing Country:United Kingdom
Report number:EW/C2003/06/04
Diversion Airport:Gatwick Airport, London, England
Site of event:Climb
Departure:Gatwick Airport, London, England
Destination:Gatwick Airport, London, England
Airplane Type(s):Boeing 777-236B
Flight Phase:Takeoff
Operator(s):British Airways
Type of flight:Revenue
Serious Injuries:0
Other Injuries:0
Diverted to:Gatwick Airport, London, England
Executive Summary:A large access door, measuring 4 x 6 feet and weighing 70 lb, detached from the aircraft shortly after takeoff from Gatwick Airport, causing substantial damage to two cabin windows and minor damage to the fuselage and fin. Fragments of the door penetrated into the cabin and large parts of it landed close to persons on the ground. It was likely that only one of the thirteen door catches had been fastened and that the door had suffered overload failure due to aerodynamic forces as the aircraft accelerated, allowing it to open and detach. Multiple walk-round inspections of the aircraft by different personnel had failed to detect the open catches. The inadequate fastening had apparently occurred during a routine maintenance check due to a deviation from standard procedures; a practice that reportedly had been fostered by features of the maintenance system and may have been commonplace. It appeared likely that the human performance factors evident in this event could be affected beneficially by improvements in the operator's maintenance and inspection systems. One safety recommendation has been made.
Learning Keywords:Operations - Maintenance
Consequence - Damage - Airframe or fuselage
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