Malaysia Airlines denies hiding details on flight MH2664 incident

A Mandatory Occurrence Report was filed as required by Regulation 165 CAR 2016 for CAAM action as part of the monitoring and safety resolution requirements

by FAYYADH JAAFAR / graphic by TMR

MALAYSIA Airlines Bhd (MAB) has denied allegations that it is concealing details of the incident involving flight MH2664 from Kuala Lumpur to Tawau, Sabah on April 3, 2022.

In a statement yesterday, the airline said it had been following the standard procedures and protocols in the event of a safety incident.

A Mandatory Occurrence Report was filed as required by Regulation 165 CAR 2016 for the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia’s (CAAM) action as part of the monitoring and safety resolution requirements.

“Malaysia Airlines regrets and apologises for the anxiety and discomfort experienced by passengers on the flight.

“The airline will ensure that all the instructions for corrective measures underlined by CAAM are implemented immediately,” it said in the statement, reiterating that it is fully committed to ensuring the safety of its passengers.

Based on CAAM’s review of the initial safety investigation and engineering reports, a malfunction in the pitot-static system had caused the flight to “dive” during turbulence.

The pitot-static system involves instruments that measure pressure differences to determine airspeed and altitude.

This malfunction produced a false speed indication onboard, resulting in the aircraft pitching up and deactivating the autopilot.

CAAM CEO Datuk Captain Chester Voo said the initial actions taken by the pilot in command were sufficient to regain control of the aircraft.

“This is crucial to ensure that the aircraft remains under pilot control based on the remaining accurate indications obtained by using the remaining instruments. During this manoeuvre, safety data showed an abrupt input from the pilot during attempts to regain control.

“However, these manoeuvres resulted in pitch and altitude changes that correspond with the pilot’s report and the passengers’ experience on board. These corrective manoeuvres were compounded by bad weather, which created passenger discomfort in the cabin,” he said in an earlier statement.

To maintain effective safety oversight, CAAM has instructed MAB to enhance its Upset Prevention and Recovery Training programme to emphasise initial reaction and time taken to respond to issues. This will be mandated by CAAM to all commercial aircraft operators.

CAAM also issued an enhanced Safety Memo to mandate the need for improved initial action and reaction and reinforce compliance with the abnormal recovery checklist.

Additionally, CAAM is reviewing analysis from the aircraft manufacturer, The Boeing Co, of the failure and troubleshooting root causes with enhanced corrective actions to improve an already compliant maintenance programme, as well as reviewing with CAAM the reliability report to focus on similar faults reported for recorded in-flight issues for the Boeing 737-800 fleet.

CAAM also confirmed that the affected aircraft have been grounded until further notice and is currently pending technical analysis from Boeing.

“Root causes identified are actively addressed to ensure enhanced methods of training and safety for all aviation staff involved.

“In a follow-up to this, CAAM will issue additional requirements to ensure all areas are carefully addressed as necessary to ensure adherence to best safety practices and to always uphold public safety,” Voo said.

CAAM assured the public that the safety oversight system in Malaysia is stringent and effective in managing risks in accordance with International Civil Aviation Organisation rules and regulations.