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13 Jan 2021 - 737-400, ZS-OAF (25116/2061), FF 24/5/1991 (20 Years old), operated by Safair suffered a depressurisation with complications whilst climbing out from Cape Town (FACT), South Africa on 22nd Nov 2020.

20 Minutes after take-off, the aircraft was climbing to FL330, when passing 32,920ft, the Cabin Altitude Warning activated, and the crew declared a MAYDAY. The cabin altitude was at 10,000ft, climbing at approximately 700ft per minute. The crew commenced with a descent to 10,000ft.

During the initial stages of the descent, the thrust levers retarded to LOW IDLE (N1 decreased to approximately 30%, according to Quick Access Recorder [QAR] data) with an amber warning activation on the overhead panel for both engines. This was supported by an amber alert speed mode (SPD) activation on the EADI. Engine thrust was increased to achieve flight idle.

Engine overhead panel

The aircraft landed without further incident. The cabin crew indicated that one passenger required medical assistance, three passengers had nose bleed and five passengers had severe ear pain.

The air duct with Part No. 65-51552-8 located on the left-side air-conditioning pack was found to have failed, which drastically reduced the efficiency of the left-side air conditioning system.

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*** Updated 23 Nov 2020 ***

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ZS-OAF damage to air duct

Damage to the air duct (left-side air-conditioning pack). (photo from preliminary report)

The preliminary report can be found here

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