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Monday, June 12, 2017

China Eastern flight’s near-disaster is second Airbus A332 incident in a month and 26th this year

(SCMP) The engine trouble that caused a China Eastern Airlines flight to make an emergency landing in Australia on Sunday came after a similar incident involving the same type of Airbus just four weeks ago.

In May, an EgyptAir flight from Cairo to Beijing with 211 people on board aborted its take-off because of similar damage to its engine. It was the same Airbus A330-200 jet airliner – also known as the A332 – with the same Trent 772 engine made by Rolls-Royce, that was involved in the China Eastern incident.

The aircraft was safely brought to a halt and passengers disembarked normally, according to the Aviation Herald website.

Photos of the incident showing a huge hole torn in the engine's cowling, or cover, are similar to those taken of the China Eastern plane. Egyptian media reports said the aircraft had experienced engine failure.

On Sunday, China Eastern Airlines flight MU736 from Sydney to Shanghai had to make an emergency landing 40 minutes after take-off. The crew shut down the left-side engine and reported the damage.

The crew had reported an engine problem as it was ascending after take-off. No one was injured in the incident.

In 2017 alone there have been at least 26 incidents worldwide involving this model of wide-body plane, which can carry up to 335 people – eight of which were engine problems, according to aviation statistics site

Three types of engines are available for the A330-200 – the General Electric CF6, Pratt & Whitney PW4000, and the Rolls-Royce Trent 700 series.

There were 601 of the A332 aircraft in operation worldwide as at May 31, and 38 of the A332F models, according to Airbus.

In China, the A332 is used by China Eastern Airlines, which has 30, Air China has 30, China Southern Airlines has 16, Hainan Airlines 8, and Sichuan Airlines 6.

China Eastern Airlines told the South China Morning Post they were still investigating the cause of the incident and would make a decision on how to proceed once they knew more.

Airbus China said in a statement: "We have been in close contact with the engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce in order to identify the nature of the incident. In the meantime, we will fully support the investigation into the incident."

Source: South China Morning Post by Liu Zhen

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