Now we all know that flying is safer than driving a car. The only real difference is…
you can’t park your plane on the side of the road when you have a mechanical problem. Like when a regional Australian airline grounded six planes from its fleet after a propeller fell off one of them as it approached Sydney airport for a landing. The near-disaster happened with the crew shutting down the right-engine on the Saab 340 plane after “abnormal indications” before the propeller sheared off. Despite the scare the twin-propeller Regional Express (Rex) plane carrying 16 passengers and three crew landed safely.
The airline said that while investigations were underway, it would remove from service all planes using similar propeller gearboxes and shafts, accounting for six planes from its fleet of 55. “This is an extremely rare event and the only other recorded similar event was in 1991 when US carrier Comair’s aircraft also landed safely after a separation of its propeller”. “The Saab 340 aircraft is designed to climb, cruise and land on one engine, with appropriate levels of redundancy to cope with these contingencies.” And Australian Transport Safety Bureau has started an investigation.
Regional Express is Australia’s largest independent regional airline, operating some 1,500 weekly flights to 58 destinations throughout Australia. Credit goes to the plane’s captain and crew for getting their passengers on the ground safely. “The crew demonstrated enormous composure and discipline under extraordinary circumstances. “The captain displayed exceptional skills in landing the aircraft so smoothly in bad weather and strong winds, so much so that the passengers did not notice anything different.” propeller has yet to be found. That’s why, good training goes a long way.
Article credit: AFP
Photo credit: Airliners.net