Saturday 21 October 2017

Probe into fatal plane crash finds 'mismatch' of engines

Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

THE 19-year-old plane involved in an air crash last year in which six people died had a power 'mismatch' between its two engines -- a problem which can cause the aircraft to veer in one direction.

Investigators found that the right engine had a 5pc greater output than the left. That would potentially raise an issue over 'torque' or power application between the two units.

Pilots said yesterday that under certain circumstances such a problem can cause an aircraft to veer in one direction.

Engineers also found that there was a fuel anomaly on the sensors serving the right engine, or engine number two.

As a consequence of the defect, the sensor was showing a temperature value up to 135F below the actual performance of the engine.

The Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) yesterday released the findings in an update on its probe into the Manx2.com crash at Cork Airport last February.

A further six people survived, although four of these had serious injuries.

The twin-engine turboprop commuter plane crashed and overturned as it made its third landing attempt in heavy fog on a flight from Belfast to Cork.

The final crash report by the Department of Transport's AAIU is not expected for several months.

As a result, the statement says, there were a number of consequences for the performance of the engine. But the interim report does not state that this caused the tragedy.

The probe primarily focused on the weather conditions and the crew's decision to attempt a third landing in fog.

The preliminary report found that the aircraft rolled to its left before then rolling rapidly to the right, with its right wing striking the runway before the plane flipped over on to its back and disintegrated.

Manx2.com declined to comment on the report but said the AAIU had its "fullest support". It stressed that the service was operated that day by the Spanish-based firm, Flightline BCN.

Irish Independent

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