Plane grounded until engine is replaced


  • Nation
  • Sunday, 16 Feb 2003

KOTA KINABALU: A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 aircraft, which was forced to return to the international airport here after one of its two engines shut down on a flight to Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, will remain grounded until the engine is replaced. 

A MAS spokesman said they were waiting for a replacement engine to arrive by special flight. 

“We expect the repairs to be completed by Wednesday. The plane will fly back to Kuala Lumpur once it's ready,” the spokesman said. 

The national carrier on Friday said the pilot of Flight MH081 bound for Kuala Lumpur was forced to shut down the left engine of the aircraft with 43 passengers and seven crew members aboard after experiencing technical problems. 

MAS said the aircraft experienced a “surge”– a disruption of its compressor – which resulted in a loud noise and momentary drop in engine power. 

Passengers felt the aircraft dipping to the left after the loud noise, before the pilot stabilised the aircraft and landed it safely back in Kota Kinabalu on one engine. 

The aircraft came from Tokyo’s Narita airport and was on its final leg to Kuala Lumpur. 

A team of MAS engineers and Rolls Royce engine manufacturers from Kuala Lumpur pinpointed the fault to a momentary airflow disruption at 3,353m, which caused the airflow to turn back in the engine. 

The 278-seater airplane, which is one of 15 such aircraft owned by MAS, has a built-in fail-safe system.  

It can also operate on one engine. 

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