A Flybe de Havilland Dash 8-400, registration G-FLBC performing flight BE-262 from East Midlands,EN to Edinburgh,SC (UK) with 59 passengers and 4 crew, was climbing out of East Midlands when the crew donned their oxygen masks and initiated an emergency descent at about FL150 when the cabin altitude began to rapidly climb associated with the feeling of loss of cabin pressure. A CABIN ALTITUDE warning followed shortly afterwards. After levelling at FL100 the crew continued to Edinburgh for a safe landing about 65 minutes after the emergency descent.
The UK AAIB released their brief bulletin concluding the probable cause of the serious incident was:
The aircraft suffered a cabin depressurisation during the climb caused by a hole in the rear baggage door seal. The crew carried out an emergency descent and continued to their destination.
The AAIB reported the aircraft had encountered a minor problem with the cabin pressurization on the previous sector already, the crew had been in contact with maintenance over this.
The AAIB wrote:
The crew donned oxygen masks, began an emergency descent and made a MAYDAY call to ATC. The cabin crew were informed when the emergency descent was complete, in accordance with SOP, and there was a discussion to establish the cabin environment and crew welfare. The cabin crew made a PA, reading from the emergency PA aide memoire.
The flight crew completed the ‘Rapid Depressurization or Emergency Descent’ checklist and this directed them to the ‘Manual Pressurization’ QRH checklist which was a
ctioned. Unable to control the pressurization manually they completed the ‘Unpressurized Flight’ QRH checklist.
With sufficient fuel and suitable weather en-route the commander decided to continue to Edinburgh. The commander briefed the cabin crew on the event and his intentions and made a PA to the passengers. The initial MAYDAY was downgraded to a PAN and the flight concluded with an uneventful approach and landing in Edinburgh. The airport fire service had been alerted and the crew established communication with them after landing. The fire chief took a statement from the commander, and the passengers disembarked shortly afterwards.