AirAsia X A333 at Coolangatta on Jul 3rd 2017, bird strike
Last Update: May 2, 2018 / 14:44:23 GMT/Zulu time
The airline reported the crew diverted to Brisbane as result of a suspected bird strike into the right hand engine. Two dead birds were recovered from the departure runway.
Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Agency reported carcasses of plovers were found on the runway.
Australia's Transportation Safety Board (ATSB) reported the crew elected to divert to Brisbane following an engine fault, the aircraft sustained minor damage. The occurrence was rated a serious incident and is being investigated by the ATSB.
On May 2nd 2018 the ATSB released their final report concluding the probable causes of the serious incident were:
During the take-off the number 2 engine was subjected to a birdstrike, which resulted in the release of a small section of a fan blade.
- Following an ECAM ENG 2 FAIL alert, the flight crew shut down number 2 engine, advised air traffic control of the situation and diverted to land as soon as possible at Brisbane Airport.
The ATSB reported the #2 engine vibrations increased as the aircraft was nearing Vr. The crew continued takeoff, climbing through 2300 feet AGL the crew received an ECAM alert "ENG 2 STALL". The related procedures were carried out, the crew declared PAN. The aircraft continued to climb, when the crew received an ECAM "ENG 2 FAIL" alert, at about the same time the purser called the cockpit reporting a company pilot travelling as passenger had alerted them to an engine fire from the starboard (right hand) engine. In response to the alerts and the passenger report the crew performed the engine failure with damage checklist and discharged the fire suppression system, upgraded their PAN call to MAYDAY. The aircraft landed on Brisbane's runway 01 without further incident.
Two bird carcasses, one intact, the other in several pieces, were recovered from the departure runway at around abeam taxiway D. Airport surveillance cameras showed the right hand engine emitted two flashes coinciding with the position near taxiway D. The bird remains were identified as "masked lapwing" (plovers) weighing between 0.23 and 0.40kg (0.5 to 0.9 lbs).
The ATSB wrote: "A post-mortem examination of the complete carcass by a veterinary specialist determined it was unlikely to have been struck by a moving object and its damage was likely the result of wake vortex. Examination of debris from the other bird identified no evidence of burning, which could be expected if the bird had been ingested into an aircraft engine."
An engineering inspection revealed presence of organic material within the engine though a DNA testing could not reveal whether that material was result of a bird strike. The ATSB wrote the examination: "found a single fan blade-tip section, approximately 140 mm x 125 mm, had fractured from one fan blade and the fan rear seal was found broken into pieces and scattered throughout the bypass areas of the engine (Figure 1). There was also evidence of fire within the engine." The ATSB reported that the engine manufacturer, tasked with a more detail examination of the engine, concluded: "Based on the distribution of the debris and engine speed conditions, the engine manufacturer concluded that multiple birds had impacted the fan. However, the damage on or near blade 1 was consistent with impact with a single bird. Blade 1 exhibited cupping damage consistent with soft body impact close to the point of material release. The radial height of the fracture on the blade was in a leading edge impact cup at approximately 84 per cent blade-height (Figure 1 and Figure 2). Laboratory analysis of the fracture surface of blade 1 confirmed the fracture mode as overload. There was no evidence of fatigue or pre-existing material deficiencies that could have contributed to the release of the blade-tip."
The ATSB analysed: "Based on the available evidence, the engine failure was concluded to be the result of a birdstrike involving a masked lapwing. As the remains of the two birds found on the runway did not show signs of being involved in an engine ingestion, the engine failure was almost certainly a result of an additional bird."
The ATSB further analysed that the flight crew managed the abnormal situation and diversion effectively.
This article is published under license from Avherald.com. © of text by Avherald.com.
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