Aviation safety investigations & reports

Depressurisation, 343km S Darwin, NT, 2 April 2007, VH-AJP, Israel Aircraft Industries Ltd. 1124 Westwind

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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At 1814 Central Standard Time on 2 April 2007, an Israel Aircraft Industries 1124, Westwind aircraft, registered VH-AJP, with a crew of two, departed Darwin Airport, NT on a scheduled cargo service to Alice Springs, NT. At 1844, during climb, at 34,000 ft, the crew heard a series of loud bangs followed by a loss in cabin pressure. The crew donned oxygen masks, closed the aircraft outflow valves and conducted an emergency descent to 10,000 ft. The aircraft was returned to Darwin.

An inspection of the aircraft revealed a hole in a top rear fuselage skin panel. The examination revealed that approximately 60% of the panel had been damaged by exfoliation corrosion. The damage was most severe at the primary site of rupture, in the centre of the panel.

The panel was clad with a corrosion resistant pure aluminium alloy sheet; however, the aluminium cladding was removed on the chemical milled areas. Over time, the coating protecting of the chemical milled areas had deteriorated, leading to the corrosion on the panel.

The panel was located in an area that was not considered susceptible to corrosion, so there were no detailed inspections required for the area.

As a result of this occurrence, the manufacturer has issued a notice to all 1124 Westwind aircraft operators informing them of the event and the corrosion that was found. The operator has carried out an inspection of the area on their entire fleet of 1124 Westwind aircraft. Where corrosion was present, the operator replaced the panel. The operator has also included an inspection of the area in their Corrosion Control Program.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 445KB]
General details
Date: 02 April 2007   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1844 CST    
Location   (show map): 343km S Darwin    
State: Northern Territory    
Release date: 05 March 2008   Occurrence category: Serious Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Israel Aircraft Industries Ltd  
Aircraft model 1124  
Aircraft registration VH-AJP  
Serial number 238  
Type of operation Air Transport Low Capacity  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Darwin, NT  
Destination Alice Springs, NT  
Last update 18 April 2018