Back to Squawk list
  • 35

SIA 317 (A380) depressurizes...

Interesting article on the observations of a passenger, and resultant diversion. ( More...

Sort type: [Top] [Newest]

ToddBaldwin3 8
There are a couple of things that bother me about this: First, they had a problem with the door seal in-bound to London, but determined that is was minor. Second, the pax reports of the loud noise 20 minutes into the flight, the less than satisfactory anwswers from the crew, the fact that they continued to press on despite the high noise and cold. Seems like they missed several opportunities for a more reasonable diversion, (perhaps still within the EU). I really wonder what the decision process was on the flight deck.
sparkie624 4
The door should have sealed as they climbed out... But I agree... I am wondering about flight deck decisions.
PhotoFinish 6
Seems that the whole story is not being told. Flight deck and airline ops seem to have made some bad calls.

It would be be nice to get more info (eg. from the recorders) but unsure how much info will be shared with the public in the future.

Anything that causes a super jumbo airliner filled with passengers to depressurize at altitude needs to be dissected and properly understood. No matter if it was a faulty seal or a faulty captain that caused the depressurization needs to be understood.

If this had been a 787 with a minor maintenance issue, it would be all over the news. Seems odd to have a depressurization if an A380 get so little press.
toolguy105 7
Actually any Boeing with a problem seems to get a lot of press these days. One wonders what country the American press supports
sparkie624 4
You have to wonder.... LOL... I stopped wondering along time ago... They are against the American people and products and for foreign powers. No Wonders any longer in my book.
what a bad comment ! any aircraft now includes a majority of parts built in other countries than its mother land factory. It cannot be said american or european. Just consider it before saying nonsense.
sparkie624 4
Bad, I will agree... But true you cannot deny... Note the 380 had the oil seal problem with the Rolls Royce Engine... Barely heard about it. They could have lost all 4 in flight. The most minor thing on the 787 and it is headline news.

I am not going to sugar coat a lemon, I call it the way I see it.
toolguy105 3
The A380 has had its problems from late to delivery as was the 787 to Engine Problems and other more minor problems. One problem that the A380 has been with pressure seals around the door. Look at video of the Air France A380 as it is easier to see on the white fuselage. There are black steaks running back from the doors. These are indications of seal leaks.

Every plane suffers seal leaks. Where parts mate there is a seal to insure pressurization. For a variety of reasons the deteriorate and door seals are the worst. When I was in the air force I spent hours on my belly replacing wing seals on the tanker version of the B707.

Testing for a seal leak is easy to do and should have been done in London. As I said there was most likely evidence on the fuselage of how bad the leak was if someone took the time to look. This was a preventable emergency simply by delaying or cancelling the fight and taking the plane out of service while the seal was changed.
Mark Lansdell 0
If you were in the Air Force and on a maint. crew, why would you describe a KC135 as a tanker version of the B707?
sparkie624 2
It is fact that the KC135 has it design roots back to the B707. It has the same wings, and airframe. I am sure by now it has upgraded engines for more power and fuel efficiency, but the original ones I believed used the same engines as the 707. The 707 would be a valid comparison.
Actually, the KC135 is not a 707 nor is it comparable. The KC135 is a 367-80 airframe, I know this to be fact because I work on the E-8C Joint STARS which is (and I'm not lying) a converted Boeing 707-320C aircraft. The KC-135 is some what similar but not a 707. In fact I fight with the KC135 Aero Repair guys all the time on this all the time. But yes, even on the E-8 we have seal problems... then again we have problems with some aircraft not being "true" in flight (that means the airframe is twisted and torqued). But that's what happens when you take an airframe out of bone yards and from other airline carriers and modify the living hell out of it!
toolguy105 6
Either the Captian was ill informed or a very poor mistake in judgement was made. The chances of the door failing and flying of as the story writer was concerned are almost impossible, not over a seal leak. They should have dumped fuel and returned to Londen. This is where the question comes in. What did the cost of the fuel dump factor into the captain decision to press on. The cabin condition should have been enough to tell that the seal has now totally failed and would continue to deteriorate causing the leak to worsen. Not to mention passenger discomfort.

The cost of the fuel dump should not have been a factor in the decision. The only factors to consider were saftey of flight and passenger comfort. Their will be an inquiry I wonder if this will come out.
PhotoFinish 3
There will always be overt and/or implicit pressure to press on and not dump fuel, when so much fuel is Involved.

The cost of fuel will always be a factor on an A380 intercontinental long-haul flight. It's one major strike against the super jumbos (or any super jumbo) with so many passengers' souls aboard, and with so much fuel loaded. Especially early in flight, when many mechanical problems pop up, which leads to a decisions to either dump when at or close to max fuel, or to take a chance and continue on. Sooner or later, such a decision to push forward may result in the loss of an entire super jumbo's worth of souls.

Emirates got as far as Kuwait recently. SIA just got as far as Azerbaijan. Hope every flight that continues on despite mx issues because of substantial fuel load, finds a safe port to put down every time. The alternative would be horrendous for many.
ToddBaldwin3 3
Well, said. Exactly what I was wondering about the decision process on the flight deck.
mthompson218 4
Good lord. "Assess our chances of survival..."?
tregter2 4
bad design of the door upper plastic seal causes the loud noise.
there is already a service bulletin out to get more stiffer banana leave cover plate.
strangely the cockpit tried to solve it by going down and depress the cabin.
its not caused by pressure just passing winds lift it up from the door.
most likely this was the cause.
its all just speculation and the real answer will take a while to come out.
(A380 L.A.M.E)
Thomas Cain 6
I think if the cockpit was just trying to depressurize the plane to stop the noise, they would have just descended to 10000ft. The fact O2 masks was deployed says to me the cabin was depressurized before reaching 10000ft and something more serious was going on. As you say though, it will be sometime before the official report tells us what really happened.
sparkie624 3
The O2 Masks should not have dropped below 14,000 feet. I am starting to believe that the crew manually deployed the O2 and some how blamed it on the door because it was squealing and the crew probably went to manual pressurization and dumped the pressure in the cabin. Will be interesting to see what the CVR and FDR tells us, but we will probably never hear that one.
gem nordlaw 0
the aircraft was pressurized before it left the ground only marginally but pressurized all the same dropping below 10,000 would not reduce noise enough to be comfortable cockpit crew can only adjust the rate of cabin alt change but can dploy o2 masks if required but the ground mechanic is guaranteed to break sad persons finger that flicks that switch
to explain why i say the cabin is pressurized on ground you may recall sitting waiting for push back all nice and quiet when you hear and feel warm or cool air breaking the silence come on and start blowing in your face this happens when normally in the absence of flight enginner ,the co=jockey switches the packs on if doors are closed any air forced in must go somewhere either out of the outflow valves look for 2 dirty steeks under rear of a/c near aft doors used to be nicotine but alas we cant smoke any more not only is this function of cabin air input making the passengers pax feel more comfortable but a nessecay evil to increase structural rigidity that enhances strength during takeoff roll and initial climb think of blowing up a baloon more you blow firmer it gets for this reason an aircraft cycle is counted from when the front entry door is closed until the aircraft lands again flight hours are counted from wheels off the ground -the pressure inside is controlled by opening or closing the outflow valves until maximum cabin differential is achived when the valve will open automatically to relieve pressure typically the cabin pressure would be between 4000 and 6000 altitude even if the aircraft was at 23000 or 36000 ft max cabin differential varies between aircraft as high as 20:1 i seem to remember gulfstream g3 being very high a b747 is 19.1 and varies between model also i remember the long 10 hour flights we had to endure to caribean and back after lockerbie and the continental 747 converable 747 made it into sfo the maximum pressure differential was reduced to 14.1 which gave you an approximate cabin alt. of 6600 feet which is very tiring for both pax and crew at he time i was doing manchester santo domingo return 3 times a week modern a/c like the dreamliner can keep the cabin alt way down so you feel less tired and less ear ache
Steven Macom 1
One of the pictures in the SQ forum posted below shows a white sheave extending from the opened door; is that the banana leaf cover plate? (Page three of the forum link.)
sparkie624 1
That should not have been enough to cause that massive of a leak and if so they would not have been pressurizing though 10K. If that was the case the crew should have never allowed it to get to the point of dropping the mask, furthermore, ground handlers (aka baggage smashers) should have seen this at push back.
Steven Macom 1
One of the pictures in the SQ forum posted below shows a white sheave extending from the opened door; is that the banana leaf cover plate? (Page three of the forum link.)
John Danzy 1
It's no big deal. The plane will be perfectly safe once Airbus designs a "passing winds" container. So when it happens again the wind will be locked inside the container and then vented out through it's ports.
They need to invent that container for passengers...
A forum with some interesting pics of the inside, the door and even the outside after the aircraft landed. Looks like complete door failure. Perhaps all you aircraft experts can add more details.
sparkie624 1
LOL.. Nice picture of the Perverberal Rubber Jungle... I feel for the mechanics that has to put all of those back.. :) I have been there before.. No fun...
Pics of the outside is on page 3 of the link.
I would be quite unnerved in that situation I think. Kudos to the passengers for keeping their cool as long as they did!
Rob Miller 4
It will be interesting to see this gets any real play in the press. If it would have occurred on a Boeing 787 it would be front page news, world-wide! "The continuing struggles of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner...". Yada, yada.
sparkie624 4
That is one heck of a door seal leak to have one door to be responsible for depressurizing the entire plane... Sorry. I do not buy it.... Something else had to happen... the size of that plene the entire door would have had to fail for that to happen,. I have seen LOTS of door leaks over the years and this one smells bad... Someone is covering up something.
klimchuk 2
This is not the first time when there was a problem with the door seal on A380
I believe SIA has some understanding how serious it can be
This happened to us shortly after takeoff from SFO enroute to HK via Tokyo. It was a 747-100 and as we climbed a whine developed in the front port door. Luckily we had several techies on board (Texas Instruments I think). After much inspection by flight deck a strategy was developed. The cabin crews took those towels they give you to wipe your face/hands and with ice tongs dropped several of them into the door liner. Bingo. Noise ended with a whoosh. When we were met at the gate by mechanics there were literally 40 or so napkins littering the jetway and since I don't speek Japanese I couldn't interpret what the guys were saying as they jumped out of the way of falling napkins lol.
Bill Schmiett 0
I nominate the passenger for the " upperclass twit of the year"
Bernie20910 -1
450+ pax, plus crew, and nobody had any duct tape? Now if that had been on an American flight then damnstraight someone would have pulled a roll out of their carryon and sealed that puppy up good. Provided TSA hadn't confiscated it that is.


Don't have an account? Register now (free) for customized features, flight alerts, and more!
This website uses cookies. By using and further navigating this website, you accept this.
Did you know that FlightAware flight tracking is supported by advertising?
You can help us keep FlightAware free by allowing ads from We work hard to keep our advertising relevant and unobtrusive to create a great experience. It's quick and easy to whitelist ads on FlightAware or please consider our premium accounts.