a large white airplane on a runway

Air France Boeing 777 Returns to Beijing After Suspected AC Duct Explosion

On 18th September, an Air France Boeing 777-300/ER returned to Beijing, China shortly after take off due to what appears to be an air conditioning system explosion.

According to the AvHerald, the 17 year old aircraft, with registration F-GSQD and performing flight AF393 from Beijing (China) to Paris Charles de Gaulle (France), was in the initial climb out of Beijing’s runway 36L when the crew stopped the climb at 3000 feet after a loud bang had occurred.

The aircraft returned to Beijing for a safe landing on runway 01 about 12 minutes after departure.

A passenger reported that they had heard strange noises throughout the take-off, shortly after becoming airborne a bang occurred at a seat in row 52 and a burning smell developed in the cabin. Passengers were quickly moved forward, away from the disturbance.

Shortly afterward there was a complete power failure in the cabin, with cabin lights coming back on again a short time later. Flight attendants rushed to the back of the plane with fire extinguishers and removed the seat cushions, were they found some kind of debris splashing out.

It appears that an air conditioning duct may have ruptured. The cabin temperatures began to rise while the strong burning smell intensified until landing. No injuries have been reported.

According to the Air France press release, a technical incident prompted the return to Beijing and the customers were taken care of by the company “and will be rerouted to Paris as soon as possible”. “Maintenance interventions will be carried out on the aircraft concerned before it is put back into service.”