While on a scheduled passenger service from Newark Airport (KEWR) USA, to Dublin Airport (EIDW) Ireland, the aircraft encountered conditions that became increasingly turbulent during the descent. As the turbulence eased, the Co-Pilot noticed that the indicated airspeed, as presented on his instruments, was reading low. Fearing that the turbulence had caused the aircraft to lose airspeed which could lead to a stall, the Co-Pilot applied forward force on the control column to pitch the aircraft down, and increased engine thrust.
Following this manoeuvre, the Co-Pilot reported that the airspeed as indicated on his instruments began to recover, before reducing again. Consequently, the Co-Pilot repeated the pitch down manoeuvre.
It was then determined that the Commander’s airspeed instruments were reading correctly, and the Commander took control of the aircraft. The aircraft was returned to normal flight and the Commander handed back control to the Co-Pilot. Subsequently, the Flight Crew were alerted to a system message indicating a loss of hydraulic pressure in the centre hydraulic system. Shortly thereafter, reports were received from the cabin that a number of passengers and Flight Attendants suffered minor injuries during the event.
The Commander reported to Dublin Air Traffic Control (ATC) that they had experienced some turbulence and that medical assistance would be required on landing. In addition, airport emergency services were requested to be in attendance due to the hydraulic problem. The aircraft landed at 05.22 hrs without further incident. The aircraft sustained damage to the centre hydraulic system service bay and ceiling panels in the cabin as a result of the occurrence.