The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has released a second Interim Factual Report into the accident involving the Qantas Airbus A330-303 in-flight upset, 154 km west of Learmonth WA, on 7 October 2008.
The report summarises new activities conducted since the first Interim Factual Report that was released on 6 March 2009, and it should be read in conjunction with that previous report.
The aircraft was being operated on a scheduled passenger service from Singapore to Perth. While cruising at 37,000 ft, the aircraft experienced two uncommanded pitch-down events. The flight crew were able to quickly return the aircraft to level flight on each occasion and diverted to Learmonth, WA for a safe landing.
One flight attendant and 11 passengers were seriously injured, and eight other crew members and at least 99 other passengers received minor injuries. The injury rate and severity of injuries was significantly greater for those passengers who were not seated or not wearing seatbelts at the time of the first in-flight upset.
The investigation is still following several lines of inquiry to explain why the ADIRU started providing erroneous data (spikes). In addition, the investigation is continuing to examine various aspects of the flight control primary computer (FCPC or PRIM) software development cycle.
The investigation is also continuing to examine the performance of the ECAM and its effectiveness in assisting crews to manage aircraft system problems. (ATSB)