Ryanair in second emergency decent over Swiss Alps in as many months

An incident on Wednesday where a Ryanair flight was forced to make an emergency descent over the Swiss Alps was the second such incident involving the company in as many months.

In both cases, the flights had departed from Milan’s Bergamo airport in Italy and were flying north over the Alps to their destinations.

In each incident the crews deployed the oxygen masks and made emergency descents from over 30,000ft (9,100m).

On Wednesday, flight FR1703 was en route to East Midlands in Britain when the crew received a warning indication in the cockpit. The flight was about 60km north of the Swiss town of Lugano and about the fly over the Swiss Alps at the time.

The pilot was forced to deploy the passenger oxygen masks and carry out an emergency descent after the aircraft suffered pressurisation problems.

The flight descended to the safer recommended altitude of 10,000ft and requested permission to divert to Frankfurt Hahn airport in Germany for a safe landing.

In the Feb 6 incident, flight FR4523 had also taken off from Bergamo and was flying over the Swiss Alps south-east of Zurich when the aircraft suffered pressurisation problems and the oxygen masks were deployed.

The crew reported a sudden and rapid decompression on board and initiated an emergency descent to the lower and safer altitude of 10,000ft. The flight descended further to 8,000ft and continued the remainder of the flight at that level for a safe landing at Charleroi.

One man who was on board Wednesday’s flight told the Aviation Herald: “I was a passenger on that flight, it was very, very frightening. In fairness to the aircrew, they seemed to handle themselves OK.

“On the replacement flight from Hahn Frankfurt, we were told engineers were looking into the fault and crew being interviewed. Many of us are keen to know what actually happened.”

Ryanair declined to comment on the circumstances of the Feb 6 incident but said of Wednesday’s occurrence: “Flight FR1703 diverted to Frankfurt Hahn after the captain identified a pressurisation warning, deployed the oxygen masks, and descended to 10,000ft as recommended.”

No passengers were adversely affected or required medical attention after either incident.

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