Emergency evacuation of Flybe plane at Exeter airport
100 passengers and 5 crew members were left confused after the Flybe Embraer 195 plane from Exeter Airport to Alicante, Spain was forced to be delayed as the cabin filled with smoke.
It has been reported that the cause of the fire was the disregard of a vital step in the engine drying procedure which, according to the operator, was carried out by “an engineer who was neither qualified nor competent to complete the task”.
The event resulted in both confusion and injury as instructions for exiting the plane were unclear, requiring some passengers to leave from overwing exits or steep slides. However, incorrect wing flap positions meant the drop was too high. Many passengers refused to jump from the plane while some incurred minor injuries from jumping down.
A report has been released explaining the events leading up to the evacuation. It states that during the preparation for the flight both pilots were aware of peculiar odours which indicated fumes in the flight deck. However, the crew discussed this and concluded that this scent was decreasing. Concern only increased after the co-pilot noticed smoke coming from an air conditioning vent while the engines were being prepared. This is when smoke started to fill the flight deck leading to the evacuation.
It is important to note that most passengers and the crew remained calm and were able to evacuate swiftly.
Editor: Elen Johnston