Sunday, December 25, 2011

Tool forgotten inside, JetLite engine fails mid-flight

An aircraft maintenance engineer forgot to remove a tool from the engine of a JetLite plane that was flying from Ranchi to Mumbai last month, causing it to lose an engine and make an emergency landing in Nagpur. The incident occurred on November 13. There were more than 130 passengers on board flight S2-722 at the time.

The engineer has been suspended pending inquiry by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.

Official documents accessed by The Indian Express reveal that the engineer and a technician, while conducting ground maintenance work, left behind a tool in the engine cavity. The technician fitted the bolts but failed to notice a gap that was created after the covering didn’t sit on the engine properly. Friction during the flight created a hole in the covering through which oil leaked and the engine failed.

On December 14, the airline finalized a Permanent Investigation Board. It was found that the oil leak and low-oil pressure warning from the No. 2 engine was caused due to oil leaking from a hole in the N2 drive pad. “The hole in the N2 drive pad was caused by rubbing action of an expander tool which was left in the cavity of N2 drive during maintenance action on the engine during the previous night,” states one of the documents.

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