AirlineÂ enthusiastÂ Ken Fielding caught an interesting shot while spotting in Manchester (MAN) on December 27, 2004. He took this photo of an Eritrean Airlines Boeing 767-300ER being ferried from Paris-de Gaulle (CDG). At the time, he did not realize theÂ significanceÂ of the photo and took a closer look when he recently uploaded it to Flickr. Take a close look near the front of the plane and you will notice that theÂ front door (1R) is unlatched (click on the photo, zoom in and you can easily see the handle in the up position).
It appears that the door was put into that position while at Â CDG and that the pressurization of the cabin kept the door closed during flight. Fielding reports that since the aircraft was on a ferry flight, there were no passengersÂ on board. Still, that doesn’t give the crew a pass at not completing a simple task of flying safely: make sure all the doors are shut and locked. The crew should have noticed when arming the doors (which they obviously did not do) and/or there should have been an indicator in the cockpit.
I tried to reach out to Eritrean Airlines, but their website is not very helpful for finding contacts and since they are high-lighting stories from 2004, I am guessing it is not the most accurate. The airline went out of business in 2008, but started up again on July 16, 2011 with a pretty slick new livery.
Photo by Ken Fielding