Air New Zealand is pleased to receive the interim report by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) into the engine failure which occurred on the airline`s Boeing 767-200 service NZ 132 Brisbane - Auckland on 8 December last year.
Air New Zealand Vice President Operations & Technical, Craig Sinclair, said that while the ATSB report confirmed a high pressure turbine disk in the left engine failed, no obvious root cause of the failure has been determined at this stage.
“It is clear, however, that there are no concerns about the maintenance of the disk being a factor in the failure of the engine” said Mr Sinclair.
“Given that the root cause has not yet been identified, Air New Zealand has taken the precaution of increasing type and frequency of inspections of the same disks in the airline`s other 8 CF6-80A engines. This inspection programme is in excess of the recent FAA Airworthiness Directive and will be completed by mid-April.”
New inspection thresholds for the engine disks on the world wide fleet are likely to be introduced by the engine manufacturer, General Electric. Air New Zealand anticipates these new thresholds will be consistent with the practices it has already introduced.
Additional metallurgical testing of the failed disk will be carried out in the United States by the manufacturer and the appropriate authorities.
The Brisbane incident will be included in the peer review of Air New Zealand engineering and maintenance to be undertaken by Boeing representatives. The Boeing review is expected to commence early next month.