Monday, January 11, 2016

Federal Aviation Administration orders checks on a handful of 777 engines

Following an uncontained engine failure and fire as a British Airways 777 jet took off in Las Vegas last September, the Federal Aviation Administration is initially mandating inspections of a small number of in-service engines. These are expected to be completed this week.

Following an uncontained engine failure and fire as a Boeing-built British Airways 777 jet took off in Las Vegas last September, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is initially mandating inspections of just six specific engines of similar age, configuration and usage flying in the U.S.

The FAA airworthiness directive, set to be published Tuesday in the Federal Register, requires an inspection of three metal disks in the innards of the six GE-90 engines, and replacement of the parts if any anomaly is found.

GE spokesman Rick Kennedy said only one of the six engines listed by the FAA remains to be inspected and that one will be done this week.

Kennedy said GE anticipates inspecting a second small set of engines once the first set of inspections is complete, and it expects another FAA airworthiness directive to make this mandatory.

The required ultrasonic inspections are conducted without removing the engines from the wings of the jets.

In the Sept. 8 incident, a metal disk in the high pressure compressor section of the engine core broke apart explosively on take-off, shooting out hot metal fragments that pierced the engine, the pod surrounding the engine and the wing of the airplane and igniting a serious engine fire.

The pilot aborted the take-off, slammed on the brakes and ordered an evacuation. All 157 passengers and 13 crew on board were able to exit safely on emergency-escape slides from the right side of the aicraft as fire engulfed the left side.

The engine involved in this first uncontained failure of any GE-90 was one of the first built for the initial 777s after 1995.

About 400 engines of this early GE-90 type are now in service on 167 airplanes. More recently built 777s have a different configuration.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which is in charge of the accident investigation, has not released any information on whether the initial inspections turned up any anomalies.

A pre-publication copy of the FAA mandate states that the root cause of the initial crack in the disk that broke apart is still unknown but that once this is determined, “we might consider additional rulemaking.”

Original article can be found here: 

NTSB Identification: DCA15FA185
Scheduled 14 CFR Part 129: Foreign operation of BRITISH AIRWAYS PLC
Accident occurred Tuesday, September 08, 2015 in Las Vegas, NV
Aircraft: BOEING COMPANY BOEING 777-236, registration: G-VIIO
Injuries: 1 Serious, 5 Minor, 164 Uninjured.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On September 8, 2015, about 1613 pacific daylight time (PDT), British Airways flight 2276, a Boeing 777-200, equipped with two GE90-85B engines, registration G-VIIO, experienced a #1 engine uncontained failure during takeoff ground roll on runway 7L at McCarran International Airport (LAS), Las Vegas, Nevada. The #1 engine, inboard left wing, and a portion of the left and right fuselage sustained fire damage. Resulting fire was extinguished by airport rescue and fire fighting. The 157 passengers, including 1 lap child, and 13 crew members evacuated via emergency slides on the runway. There were 5 minor injuries and 1 serious injury as a result of the evacuation. The airplane was substantially damaged. The flight was operating under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 129 and was en route to London - Gatwick Airport (LGW), Horley, England.

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