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China Eastern Sydney emergency follows similar incident

An emergency that had forced a China Eastern Airlines flight to return to Sydney shortly after take-off followed a similar recent incident involving the same plane and engine model.


Flight MU736 had departed Sydney for Shanghai on Sunday night when an hour into its journey a massive hole blew open in part of its left engine.



While the reason for the near-disaster is being investigated, it has been revealed that an EgyptAir take-off last month was aborted for the same reason. Coincidently, both planes, A332s, were bound for China.


According to the South China Morning Post, the EgyptAir plane, which was carrying 211 people, used the same Rolls Royce engine as the China Eastern plane.


Moreover, and somewhat worryingly, there have been 26 other incidents involving the same plane model this year alone, eight of which were engine-related, aviation statistics site Aeroinside reported.


While no one was injured during the Sydney incident, passengers were understandably shaken up, with some hearing a loud bang straight after take-off, according to the ABC.


"It kind of smelt like burning a little bit," flyer Ashley Beck said. "Later on [after take-off] they said there were mechanical issues. I was scared, really scared, our whole group was terrified."


With photos of the hole appearing on social media afterwards, University of New South Wales Aviation School professor Jason Middleton described the incident as a “very rare event”.


"Remarkable set of photos, most unusual, I've never seen that sort of thing happen before," he told the ABC.


"Looks like the engine casing or cowling has ripped off, forward of the fan the main initial compressor blade, it's ripped clean off.


Image twitter


"Looks like there's obviously been some preliminary damage in order for that to happen.


"How that might have happened, I'm not sure."


Professor Middleton said there might have been some minor damage the pilots hadn’t seen on their walk around of the plane prior to departure.


China Eastern arranged accommodation for passengers and new flights on China Eastern or other airlines.


Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 12 June 2017

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