Malaysia A333 near Derby on Jan 18th 2018, engine stalls

Last Update: November 7, 2019 / 18:27:45 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Jan 18, 2018


Flight number

Aircraft Registration

Aircraft Type
Airbus A330-300

ICAO Type Designator

A Malaysia Airlines Airbus A330-300, registration 9M-MTM performing flight MH-122 from Sydney,NS (Australia) to Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) with 255 people on board, was enroute at FL360 about 10nm northwest of Derby,WA (Australia) when the crew needed to reduce the left hand engine (PW4170) to idle thrust. The aircraft turned around, drifted down to FL240 and diverted to Alice Springs,NT (Australia) about 700nm southeast of Derby (distances Derby-Perth,WA 980nm, Derby-Darwin,NT 510nm), where the aircraft landed safely about 110 minutes after leaving FL360.

Passengers reported there were banging and strange sounds from the right hand side. The crew subsequently announced they needed to shut down one engine. The crew instructed the passengers to brace for landing.

On Jan 19th 2018 The Aviation Herald learned the crew declared PAN reporting a #1 (left) engine stall and requested to divert to Alice Springs. About 50 minutes after the diversion the crew was informed that maintenance facilities in Darwin would be available, however, no maintenance facilities were available at Alice Springs, recommendation to divert to Darwin. The captain however advised that due to weather forecasts for Darwin they would continue to Alice Springs.

On Jan 25th 2018 Australia's ATSB reported the occurrence was rated an incident and is being investigated with the remark: "Should a critical safety issue be identified during the course of the investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify those affected and seek safety action to address the issue." The ATSB reported the crew detected a malfunction with the left hand enine and decided to shut it down. The aircraft diverted to Alice Springs for a safe single engine landing.

On Feb 1st 2018 The Aviation Herald learned, that the ATSB informed other investigation authorities about the occurrence stating: "During cruise, the crew detected the no. 1 engine stalling and shut it down. The crew diverted the aircraft to Alice Springs."

On Nov 6th 2019 the ATSB released their final report concluding the probable causes of the incident were:

Contributing factors

- While in the cruise the left engine experienced surging and increased vibration, which necessitated a power reduction and diversion for a precautionary landing.

- The engine malfunction was a result of a third stage outer transition duct segment liberation that partially blocked a stage of the low pressure turbine vane inlet, creating a rise in exhaust gas temperature, turbulent internal engine airflow, and consequent failure of the low pressure turbine blade/s.

- There were a total of 16 engine malfunction events globally over a 4-year period attributed to modification of the Advantage 70™ engine. The modification increased the engine outer duct gas path temperature, which led to distortion and liberation of the outer transition duct segments. [Safety issue]

The ATSB reported that during climb out of Sydney at about 1500 feet the left hand engine's EGT rose above limits, the crew performed the related checklists, reduced the engine thrust in order to maintain EGT within limits. The climb was continued and the left hand engine returned to full climb thrust at about FL240. The left hand EGT was observed to be about 70 degrees C above the right hand engine's EGT but remained within limits. About 4 hours into the flight the crew received an ENGINE 1 STALL message associated with about three or four bangs from the engine. During the engine stalls the engine vibration levels rose significantly. The crew reduced the engine to idle at about FL240. An attempt to restore thrust resulted in increased vibrations, the engine was again reduced to idle thrust. The crew decided to divert to Alice Springs with the weather at Darwin being unsuitable.

The ATSB analysed the handling of the event:

The flight crew handled the engine malfunction in accordance with the non-normal checklist, reducing the engine’s thrust to idle, and safely diverting and landing the aircraft at the closest suitable location. Recognising that the crew's response to the elevated temperature shortly after take-off was in accordance with the electronic centralised aircraft monitoring procedure, this occurrence highlights that significantly abnormal indications are often symptomatic of a developing problem. In such circumstances, crews should give serious consideration to returning and landing the aircraft rather than continuing with the flight.

With respect to the engine failure the ATSB analysed:

The engine manufacturer identified that the outer transition duct (OTD) distorted over a period of time to a point where the axial length was reduced enough for the front hook to disengage. Once disengaged, the OTD partially moved into the gas path which elevated its temperature. The temperature and gas path loads fractured the OTD, and the rear section rotated and came to rest on the low pressure nozzle guide vanes. That created significant turbulent airflow within the engine which led to low pressure turbine blade failure, high vibration and the compressor stall/surge events.

There had been a total of 16 OTD liberations in service since 2015, with all but one occurring within the Advantage 70™ modified engine. The engine that did not have the modification did have the newer Advantage 70™ Talon IIB combustor fitted. Those figures represented over 5 per cent of all modified engines requiring unscheduled removal for repair. The modifications had an effect of increasing the outer duct gas path temperature. This increase in temperature led to the distortion and degradation of the OTD’s, which ultimately led to the failures. It is likely that OTD liberations will continue in Advantage 70™ engines until modifications are made to rectify the issue. Refer to the Safety action section for the engine manufacturer’s proactive safety action.

Metars Alice Springs:
YBAS 181000Z AUTO 11009KT 9999 // NCD 35/04 Q1009=
YBAS 180930Z AUTO 09011KT 9999 // NCD 36/04 Q1009 RF00.0/000.0=
YBAS 180900Z AUTO 09009KT 9999 // NCD 37/05 Q1009=
YBAS 180830Z AUTO 10012KT 9999 // NCD 37/05 Q1008 RF00.0/000.0=
YBAS 180800Z AUTO 13012KT 9999 // NCD 38/03 Q1008=
YBAS 180730Z AUTO 08011KT 9999 // NCD 38/06 Q1008 RF00.0/000.0=
YBAS 180700Z AUTO 08013KT 060V120 9999 // NCD 38/05 Q1009=
YBAS 180630Z AUTO 10013KT 9999 // SCT115 38/07 Q1009 RF00.0/000.0=
YBAS 180600Z AUTO 09013KT 010V140 9999 // NCD 37/06 Q1009=
YBAS 180530Z AUTO 06011G22KT 9999 // SCT105 38/07 Q1009 RF00.0/000.0=
YBAS 180500Z AUTO 06015KT 030V100 9999 // SCT100 38/09 Q1010=
YBAS 180430Z AUTO 11013KT 070V130 9999 // SCT097 37/09 Q1010=
YBAS 180400Z AUTO 10007KT 060V120 9999 // SCT100 36/09 Q1010=

Metars Darwin:
YPDN 181000Z 02003KT 9999 FEW015 BKN120 26/25 Q1006 INTER 1030/1230 2000 SHRA BKN010 SCT020=
YPDN 180930Z 02005KT 9999 FEW015 BKN158 OVC300 26/25 Q1005 TEMPO 1030/1230 1000 TSRA BKN010 SCT020CB=
YPDN 180900Z 04006KT 9999 FEW006 SCT140 BKN180 26/25 Q1005 TEMPO 1000/1200 1000 TSRA BKN010 SCT020CB=
YPDN 180830Z 04001KT 9999 VCSH FEW005 BKN038 27/26 Q1005 TEMPO 0900/1130 1000 TSRA BKN010 SCT020CB=
YPDN 180800Z 13003KT 9999 -RA FEW006 SCT050 BKN160 FEW013TCU 27/25 Q1004 TEMPO 0900/1100 1000 TSRA BKN010 SCT020CB=
YPDN 180730Z 15003KT 9999 -RA FEW004 SCT070 BKN140 FEW013TCU 26/25 Q1004 TEMPO 0830/1030 1000 TSRA BKN010 SCT020CB=
YPDN 180700Z 10002KT 9999 RA FEW005 SCT044 BKN140 26/25 Q1004 TEMPO 0800/1000 1000 TSRA BKN010 SCT020CB=
YPDN 180630Z 02001KT 9999 -RA FEW005 SCT041 BKN140 26/24 Q1004 TEMPO 0800/0930 1000 TSRA BKN010 SCT020CB=
YPDN 180600Z 08003KT 9999 -SHRA -RA FEW003 SCT070 BKN160 25/24 Q1004 TEMPO 0600/0900 1000 TSRA BKN010 SCT020CB=
YPDN 180551Z AUTO 07003KT 9999 SHRA SCT031 SCT048 SCT057 25/24 Q1004=
YPDN 180551Z AUTO 07003KT 9999 SHRA SCT031 SCT048 SCT057 25/24 Q1004=
YPDN 180530Z 12005KT 9000 SHRA VCTS FEW007 SCT020 BKN070 FEW013CB 25/24 Q1004 RETS=
YPDN 180522Z 13006KT 7000 TSRA FEW003 SCT020 BKN058 FEW013CB 25/23 Q1004=
YPDN 180511Z 03008KT 6000 2900S TSRA FEW006 SCT020 BKN070 FEW013CB 25/24 Q1005=
YPDN 180500Z 03008KT 5000 2400N TSRA FEW003 SCT020 BKN050 FEW010CB 25/24 Q1004 RETS=
YPDN 180500Z 03008KT 5000 2400N TSRA FEW003 SCT020 BKN050 FEW010CB 25/24 Q1004 RETS=
YPDN 180448Z 02009KT 5000 2400NE TSRA FEW003 SCT020 BKN050 FEW013CB 25/24 Q1005 RETS=
YPDN 180438Z 01009KT 7000 3000NE +TSRA FEW003 SCT020 BKN060 FEW013CB 25/23 Q1005=
YPDN 180430Z 36010KT 3000 TSRA FEW001 BKN020 FEW010CB 25/24 Q1004 RETS FM0500 03005KT 9999 SCT020 TEMPO 0430/0730 1000 TSRA BKN010 SCT020CB=
YPDN 180430Z 36010KT 3000 TSRA FEW001 BKN020 FEW010CB 25/24 Q1004 RETS=
YPDN 180418Z 36011KT 3000 TSRA FEW001 SCT020 BKN050 FEW010CB 26/25 Q1005 RETS=
YPDN 180412Z 36012KT 3000 1400NW TSRA FEW001 BKN022 FEW010CB 26/25 Q1005=
YPDN 180408Z 35011KT 4000 1900N -TSRA FEW013 BKN023 FEW019CB 28/25 Q1005=
YPDN 180405Z 31009KT 8000 2600N -TSRA FEW013 BKN023 FEW020CB 28/24 Q1005=
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Jan 18, 2018


Flight number

Aircraft Registration

Aircraft Type
Airbus A330-300

ICAO Type Designator

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