Maintenance inspection a factor in 2012 Air Canada engine failure during take-off from Lester B. Pearson International Airport
Richmond Hill, Ontario, 13 December 2013 – The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) released its investigation report (A12O0074) today into the 28 May 2012, Boeing 777 engine failure and emergency landing. There were no injuries but there was some damage to private property resulting from falling debris.
At 14:25 Eastern Daylight Time, an Air Canada Boeing 777 took off from Toronto-Lester B. Pearson International Airport with 16 crew members and 309 passengers on board, en route to Tokyo, Japan. During the initial climb-out, at about 1590 feet above ground level, the right engine failed. The flight crew shut down the engine and declared an emergency to air traffic control. The flight crew then returned to the airport and experienced an uneventful landing. There was minor damage to the underside of the right wing from engine debris ejected through the exhaust. Several automobiles on the ground were also damaged by the falling debris.
The TSB investigation determined that the Air Canada flight crew followed company procedures and safely performed an emergency landing after an engine failure. The investigation revealed that, during a previous scheduled inspection, damage to a ring of metal (shroud) surrounding a section of the turbine was noted, but incorrectly evaluated and left unaddressed. The damage on the shroud eventually led to the engine failure while at a high power setting.
Following this event, Air Canada has changed its maintenance inspection procedures for the General Electric engines. The United States Federal Aviation Administration, the agency that certified the engine, published an Airworthiness Directive identifying the issue and drawing attention to the existing manufacturer’s service bulletins that describe the mandatory procedures to be followed for engine inspection.
The TSB is an independent agency that investigates marine, pipeline, railway and aviation transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.
For more information, contact:
Transportation Safety Board of Canada
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