Wed, Sep 09, 2015 - Page 1 News List

TransAsia flight incident prompts CAA investigation

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

A TransAsia Airways plane is parked at Magong Airport in Penghu County yesterday.

Photo: CNA

The Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) said it is investigating whether TransAsia Airways has been maintaining its aircraft properly after a flight to Magong Airport in Penghu yesterday landed with only one engine operating.

The airline said that Flight GE505 took off from Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) at 7:55am. However, at 8:36am, an indicator showed that the ATR 72-500 aircraft’s No. 2 engine’s lubricant was not functioning properly.

Following standard procedures, the pilot shut down the No. 2 engine before landing the aircraft safely at Magong Airport at 8:55am, the airline said.

The airline canceled Flight GE2113 from Magong to Kaohsiung and Flight GE2114 from Kaohsiung to Magong after the incident. The CAA said it was informed of the incident before the aircraft landed on Penghu and immediately sent staff to examine the engine.

A preliminary investigation showed that the engine leaked lubricant because a pipe was broken, the agency said, adding that it would determine through further investigation if the airline had failed to properly maintain the aircraft.

CAA statistics showed that the airline has experienced a total of eight engine shutdowns in the past five years, including three this year. Three of them were related to problems with engine lubricant.

CAA Flight Standards Division director Clark Lin (林俊良) said continued leaking of lubricant could cause an engine to catch fire or damage to the propellers.

Lin said the pilot of Flight GE505 did the right thing in shutting down the No. 2 engine after identifying that lubricant was leaking from it.

Potential problems relating to the ATR aircraft engines have come under scrutiny after TransAsia Airways Flight GE235 crashed in the Keelung River on Feb. 4, killing 43 people onboard.

An Aviation Safety Council investigation showed that Flight GE235’s No. 1 engine — which was functioning normally — was shut down, while a warning indicated the No. 2 engine should have been switched off instead.

However, examination of Flight GE235’s data recorder showed that the No. 2 engine’s oil pressure, temperature and fuel flow was normal and the engine was still running.

Further testing of the No. 2 engine showed that signals were not transmitted to the cockpit in a reliable manner.

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