At 1814 CST, on 2 April 2007, an Israel Aircraft Industries 1124, Westwind cargo jet departed with two on board from Darwin Airport, NT headed for Alice Springs, NT. At approximately 34,000 ft into the climb the crew heard a series of loud bangs followed by a loss of cabin pressure. The crew donned their oxygen masked and conducted emergency descent to 10,000 ft. They immediately returned to Darwin.
An inspection was conducted and revealed a hole in a top fuselage panel. Examination revealed 60% of the panel had been damaged by corrosion. The damage was most severe at the point of rupture. As a result of the occurrence the manufacturer issued out an inspection of the area on the entire 1124 westwind fleet.
ATSB findings concluded that the environment and lack of fuselage inspection requirements resulted in the failure of the panel and loss of cabin pressure.
Man factors, two crew members on board. Experience loud bangs followed by cabin depressurization, performed emergency procedures and landed at Darwin Airport.
Machine factors, Israel Aircraft Industries 1124 Westwind, experienced failure to top fuselage panel.
Mission factors, Cargo flight to Alice Springs.
Medium (environment) factors, operating and storing the aircraft in moist conditions.
Management factors, no Structural Repair Manuals for fuselage. No fuselage corrosion inspection requirement.
Result Loss of cabin pressure.
LOSS OF CABIN PRESSURE
• 2 CREW
• LOUD BANGING
• EMERGENCY LANDING
• ISRAEL AIRCRAFT INDUSTRIES 1124 WESTWIND
• HOLE IN FUSELAGE PANEL
• FLIGHT TO ALICE SPRINGS
• MOIST STORAGE CONDITIONS
• HUMID CLIMATE
• NO STRUCTURAL REPAIR MANUALS
• NO FUSELAGE CORROSION INSPECTION REQUIREMENTS