PUTRAJAYA, April 10 — A malfunction to the pitot-static system caused Flight MH2664 to make an air turnback to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) while en route to Tawau last Sunday (April 3), the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) said.

Its chief executive officer Datuk Chester Voo said that was the finding was released after CAAM reviewed the initial safety investigation and engineering reports regarding the incident.

“Based on initial reports extracted from the Flight Data Recorder (FR), it was determined that a technical issue occurred during flight due to a malfunction to the pitot-static system,” he said in a statement today.

The pitot-static system is an instrument that measure pressure differences to determine air speed and altitude.

Voo said the malfunction produced a false speed indication, resulting in the aircraft to pitch-up and deactivated the autopilot.

“In response to this, the pilot in command’s immediate and correct reaction was to regain positive control of the aircraft.

“This is crucial to ensure that the aircraft remains under pilot control, based on remaining accurate indications by using remaining instruments,” he said.

During this manoeuvre, he said 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 passengers’ experience on board.

“These corrective manoeuvres were compounded by bad weather that created passenger discomfort in the cabin,” he said.

Voo said the flight crew’s initial actions and the execution of the abnormal recovery checklist as per standard operating procedure was sufficient based on CAAM’s investigations of the initial reports and based on the FDR.

He said CAAM has instructed Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB) to immediately implement several requirements to maintain effective safety oversight.

The requirements include enhancing MAB’s Upset Prevention and Recovery Training (UPRT) programme to emphasise initial reaction and time taken to respond to issues.

“This will be mandated by CAAM to all commercial aircraft operators,” he said.

Meanwhile, he said CAAM also confirmed that the affected aircraft has been grounded until further notice and was currently pending technical analysis from The Boeing Company.

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

As a follow-up, CAAM will issue additional requirements to ensure all areas were carefully addressed as necessary to ensure adherence to the best safety practices and to always uphold public safety.

“CAAM would like to assure that the safety oversight system in Malaysia regulated by CAAM is stringent and effective in managing risks in accordance with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) rules and regulations,” Voo said.

Malaysia Airlines said in a statement last Tuesday (April 5) that Flight MH2664 from KLIA to Tawau performed an air turnback due to technical issues with the aircraft, compounded by bad weather en route on April 3. — Bernama