China Eastern Airlines Airbus A330 suffers uncontained engine failure

A China Eastern Airlines Airbus A330 operating flight MU736 was forced to return to Sydney Airport after the aircraft’s left hand side Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engine suffered an uncontained engine failure. A large hole was ripped on the inside of the engine cowling.

china_eastern_a332_b-6099_sydney_170611_1
Damage to the front of the engine cowling ©Kara Anth

Flight MU736 was on initial climb out of Runway 34L at Sydney Airport when the crew reported a fault in Engine No.1 and requested to maintain runway heading. The climb was leveled off at 5,700ft and the crew circled to return to Sydney.

The flight crew reported back to Sydney that the engine failure had occurred around one second after rotation, at 20:42 local time. They requested a runway inspection which was carried out, but ATC reported that no debris was found on the runway.

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A FlightRadar24 playback of the flight

The aircraft involved in the incident was 9 year old Airbus A330-243 B-6099 (MSN 916). The engines fitted on the aircraft are Rolls-Royce Trent 772B-60 turbofans.

B-6099 China Eastern Airlines Airbus A330-243 photographed at Dalian - Zhoushuizi International (DLC / ZYTL) by sunshydl
©sunshydl

China Eastern Airlines flight MU736 is a scheduled international passenger flight from Sydney – Kingsford Smith Int’l (SYD/YSSY) to Shanghai Pudong Int’l (PVG/ZSPD).

The incident bears striking resemblance to a similar uncontained engine failure on an EgyptAir Airbus A330, also equipped with Trent 700 engines.

UPDATE 1:

EASA released two airworthiness directives on May 13th, 2016

AD 2011-0173R1 reasons:

“Two operators of A330 aeroplanes fitted with Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines reported finding extensive damage to engine air intake cowls as a result of acoustic panel collapse, most probably caused by panel disbonding.

This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to the detachment of the engine air intake cowl from the engine, possibly resulting in ingestion of parts by, and consequence damage to, the engine, or injury to persons on the ground.”

AD 2016-0086R1 reasons:

“During shop visit, cracks were found in several primary structural parts of Rolls Royce (RR) Trent 700 engine air intake cowls, specifically in the forward bulkhead web, web stiffeners and outer boundary angles (OBA).

In addition, several attachment links were found severely worn, and some became detached. In two cases, the thermal anti- ice (TAI) piccolo tube was found fractured. Investigation results show that the cracks are most likely due to acoustic excitation and vibration.

A broken piccolo tube, if not detected and corrected, in conjunction with forward air intake cowl bulkhead damage, could lead to in-flight detachment of the outer barrel, possibly resulting in damage to the engine or reduced control of the aeroplane.”

The directives indicates damages that are very similar to those in both the EgyptAir incident and this incident.

UPDATE 2:

New pictures were released today, showing the great extent of the damage to the cowling.

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