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Plane turns back to Sydney with giant hole in engine

June 13, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Engineers and air safety authorities are working to find what ripped a huge hole in the engine cowling of an Airbus A300-200, which turned back to Sydney shortly after taking off on Sunday on an international flight.

As China Eastern flight MU 736 to Shanghai took off out of Sydney, passengers were startled by a sudden loud bang and the smell of burning, Seven News reported.

The crew levelled off, shut the engine down, and requested a runway inspection. Air traffic control reported no debris had been found on the runway. The flight returned to Sydney and landed safely, with a gaping hole in its left-hand engine, a Rolls-Royce Trent 772.

The general manager of China Eastern Airlines Oceania region, Kathy Zhang, told the ABC the plane “encountered an engine problem after take-off”.

“The crew observed the abnormal situation of the left engine and decided to return to Sydney airport immediately,” she said.

Speculation yesterday was that the engine might have sucked in part of the soundproof cladding in the forward section of the cowling surrounding the engine. The Aviation Herald pointed out that a similar event, affecting the same model of engine, struck an Egyptian airliner of the same sort (A330-200) several weeks ago.

Graphic photos of the damage to the China Eastern plane circulated quickly on social media, with two examples shown above.

Damage to the engine of the Egyptian aircraft involved in the incident last month looks strikingly similar. The Aviation Herald has a picture of that on: http://avherald.com/h?article=4a901212&opt=0

The types of plane and engine involved are in wide use around the world.

 

Written by Peter Needham

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