WASHINGTON: US regulators are investigating an Airbus engine failure aboard a Spirit Airlines flight that was forced to make an emergency landing in Texas on Tuesday.
The National Transportation Safety Board, in a statement yesterday, said it was investigating the engine failure aboard Spirit’s Airbus A319, which was flying from Dallas, Texas, to Atlanta, Georgia.
Spirit Airlines said that Flight 165 returned to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport shortly after take-off after the captain had “an indication of a possible mechanical issue” and smoke was in the cabin.
“One engine was shut down, which is normal procedure under these circumstances. However, all of our aircraft are designed to operate safely on one engine if necessary,” Misty Pinson, spokeswoman for the Florida-based Spirit Airlines, said in an emailed statement.
“Following procedures and as a safety precaution, the plane returned to DFW. It was a normal landing and customers deplaned safely. There were no injuries,” she said. One of the 145 passengers aboard the airplane described an explosion and smoke filling the cabin. “Shortly after the big explosion went off and lit up the side of the airplane, it (smoke) just poured in all the vents,” Casey Rogers told the Atlanta television station WGCL-TV.
“Before you know it, you couldn’t see, and that’s when everyone got scared.”
The NTSB said one of their investigators was at the Dallas airport inspecting and documenting the engine, an International Aero Engines (IAE) V2500.
The engine was removed from the airplane and “as a result of the initial inspection, it was determined that the engine failure was contained, meaning it did not penetrate the engine casing,” the Washington-based agency said in a statement.
The engine would undergo a detailed examination and disassembly, the agency said, addding that Spirit Airlines and IAE are participating in the investigation.
Contacted yesterday, the NTSB said it had no further information to make available beyond its Thursday statement.AFP