The Aviation Safety Council yesterday said it would launch an investigation into a TransAsia Airways (TNA) flight that was forced to return to Taipei International Airport (Songshan) 10 minutes after takeoff on Wednesday night because of an engine fire.
The ATR-72-model aircraft, which took off at 5:48pm, was carrying 72 passengers heading to Magong Airport in Penghu County.
The pilot decided to turn back to Songshan after he detected signs of abnormality in one of the aircraft’s engines. The aircraft landed safely at 6:27pm. Arrangements were made for the passengers to board another aircraft, which departed at 7:45pm.
A preliminary investigation by the council shows that the pointer in the oil pressure gauge began to oscillate when the aircraft had reached an altitude of about 1,600m, with the fire alarm for the No. 1 engine being activated.
TNA crew followed standard operating procedure, including extinguishing the fire and turning off the engine and requesting a return to Songshan.
The council called the incident an “aviation occurrence.”
Under the Aviation Occurrence Investigation Act (飛航事故調查法), an aviation occurrence is defined as one associated with the operation of an aircraft which takes place between the time any person boards the aircraft until such time as all persons have disembarked, during which a person sustains death or serious injuries, the aircraft sustains substantial damage or goes missing, or when either instance has nearly occurred.
Council officials also confirmed that the engine showed signs of a fire. They also found two blades were broken and others damaged.
The council will determine the cause of the incident after thoroughly reviewing interviews with the pilot and information recorded by the flight data recorder.