Zimbabwe B762 at Johannesburg on Apr 28th 2019, engine surges, engine recovered

Last Update: June 10, 2019 / 10:47:26 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Apr 28, 2019

Classification
Incident

Flight number
UM-462

Destination
Harare, Zimbabwe

Aircraft Registration
Z-WPF

Aircraft Type
Boeing 767-200

ICAO Type Designator
B762

An Air Zimbabwe Boeing 767-200, registration Z-WPF performing flight UM-462 from Johannesburg (South Africa) to Harare (Zimbabwe) with 98 passengers and 9 crew, was climbing out of Johannesburg's runway 03L when the crew declared Mayday Mayday Mayday and requested to stop climb at FL090 and return to Johannesburg. The crew advised they had left hand engine (PW4056) surges. While turning south on radar vectors the engine recovered, the crew subsequently reported the fault had cleared and they had normal operation about 10 minutes later, they wanted to continue to Harare. The aircraft climbed to FL390 and continued to Harare where the aircraft landed safely about 90 minutes after departure.

Johannesburg's ATC had alerted emergency services, who had assumed their stand by positions, had halted departures and sent arrivals into holds for the emergency return. After the crew had reported the fault had cleared ATC resumed operations at Johannesburg Airport and stood down emergency services.

Ground witnesses reported they saw the aircraft repepatedly banging and emitted streaks of flame, while the aircraft was turning south the surges stopped. The aircraft turned north again and climbed out of sight.

The aircraft was transponding callsign AZW-303 (UM-303), the previous inbound flight's callsign from Bulawayo (Zimbabwe) to Johannesburg.

On Apr 29th 2019 the airline reported the aircraft experienced a malfunction on one of the engines resulting in a brief tail pipe fire. The malfunction did not threaten the continuation of the flight and the aircraft landed safely in Harare.

A deputy minister of Zimbabwe travelling as passenger on board of the aircraft reported the aircraft received a bird strike on departure causing blowing sounds and sparks from the engine.

South Africa's CAA (SACAA) opened an investigation into the occurrence reporting the crew had reported a malfunction of the left hand engine related to an engine surge, after completing the checklist the crew reported the fault had cleared, they had normal operation and they want to continue to Harare. Despite the successful landing in Harare the SACAA engaged the airline and the CAA of Zimbabwe in order to obtain the data needed for the investigation.

On May 19th 2019 the NTSB reported the occurrence was rated an incident and is being investigated by the SACAA. The NTSB have appointed an accredited representative and joined the investigation representing the state of Design and Manufacture of the aircraft and engines.

On Jun 10th 2019 the SACAA released their preliminary report reporting that without knowledge by the SACAA the blackboxes were sent to Indonesia for read out. According to the airline the CVR was already overwritten and did not contain any data pertinent to the occurrence flight. The SACAA have not received any information about the status of the FDR or the data off the FDR. In addition, data requested from the FADEC have also not been forwarded to the SACAA. Following landing in Harare the left hand engine was replaced by a license maintenance organisation and the aircraft underwent a test flight of 66 minutes length, then the CVR was removed from the aircraft. The aircraft had undergone the last C-Check on November 17th 2018 at 67,169 hours, the aircraft accumulated another 879 hours since then. The left hand engine had accumulated 61,438 hours since new. The captain (64, ATPL, 18,829 hours total, 11,748 hours on type) was assisted by a first officer (39, ATPL, 7,400 hours total, unknown hours on type). The SACAA wrote: "From available video footage that were taken by a passenger that was on board the aircraft it could be seen that flames were being ejected via the exhaust of the No. 1 engine for a period of between 60 to 90 seconds."
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Apr 28, 2019

Classification
Incident

Flight number
UM-462

Destination
Harare, Zimbabwe

Aircraft Registration
Z-WPF

Aircraft Type
Boeing 767-200

ICAO Type Designator
B762

This article is published under license from Avherald.com. © of text by Avherald.com.
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