A China Eastern flight which was on its way to Shanghai, was forced to turn back to Sydney after it was discovered that one of its engine cases had a gaping hole. The incident took place on Monday and pictures of the airplane shows a large hole in the casing of one of the plane’s engines.
The plane was an Airbus A330-200 twin jet and it was carrying more than 100 passengers. Thankfully none of the passengers or crew members got hurt and the plane landed safely at the Sydney airport after the mid-air emergency.
“The crew observed the abnormal situation of the left engine and decided to return to Sydney airport immediately. All passengers and crew members were landed safely,” said Kathy Zhang, who is a general manager at China Eastern Airlines.
A spokeswoman for Rolls-Royce, which manufactured the plane’s Trent 700 series engines, said in a statement: “We are aware of the incident and will be working closely with our customer and relevant partners to understand the cause of the issue.”
Aviation experts speculate that the engine cowling might have ripped away forward of the main compressor blade, causing the damage.
“When one of these things happens you often don’t know how the damage began. It could have begun from loose screws,” said an expert on the incident.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau, Rolls Royce and China Eastern are all investigating the incident and a report is expected to come out soon.
“The engine for the aircraft is a big issue so we need to investigate with the governments, with the Rolls Royce company and with our headquarters as well,” Kathy said.