Transport authorities have launched a probe after Air New Zealand was forced to ground part of its fleet, cancelling and rescheduling flights after the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines that power its Boeing 787 Dreamliners malfunctioned twice this week. On Tuesday morning, the airline’s Boeing 787 bound for Narita, Japan, suffered “abnormalities” in flight and had to shut down the engine and return to Auckland Airport for safety reasons.
The next day, the same problem struck another 787 aircraft bound for Buenos Aires. After the flight experienced engine abnormality, it made an “uneventful return” to Auckland. In both cases, however, the passengers reported hearing loud noises and said that electrical power in the cabin was lost for a second. Others allegedly felt the aircraft shake. Cracked windshield forces Singapore-bound Boeing Dreamliner to divert to Okinawa New Zealand’s Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) opened two cases into the incidents Thursday.
The investigation team has managed to secure the aircraft records and is now conducting preliminary examinations of the engines. While no official conclusion has yet been determined, Trent 1000 engines are notorious for its abnormal wear and tear of the fan blades in the turbine. “At this stage, our investigation team is satisfied that all parties are doing the right things to ensure the continuing safety of the traveling public,” TAIC chief commissioner, Jane Meares, told reporters. “Should the Commission believe that insufficient action is being taken at any time, then it has the ability to issue urgent recommendations while its inquiries continue.”
Until the issue is resolved, the airline will continue with “limited number” of cancellations while rescheduling some international flights. Passengers are advised to take note of the changes. The airline, has so far, canceled six flights and delayed thirteen others that were due to take off between Thursday to Sunday. “Air New Zealand advises that it will be retiming some international flights and making a limited number of cancellations over coming weeks as a result of two recent events involving the Rolls-Royce engines on its Boeing 787-9 aircraft,” the airline said in its latest ‘travel alert’ on it’s website. “The damaged blades are in the aft section of the turbine blade sections. It is likely the damage has resulted from a failure of a turbine blade or blades in an earlier section that has been spat out the back with a domino effect.” […]