China: A China Eastern Airlines heading to Shanghai turn back to Sydney after a gaping hole in the casing of one of the plane’s engines emerged.
The crew members on Flight 736 noticed damage to the air inlet on the left engine after take-off on Sunday evening and the captain decided to return.
Kathy Zhang, a general manager at China Eastern Airlines said. “The crew observed the abnormal situation of the left engine and decided to return to Sydney airport immediately. All passengers and crew members were landed safely.”
Passengers told Australian media they heard a massive noise and smelled something burning.
A spokeswoman for Rolls-Royce, which manufactured the plane’s Trent 700 series engines, said in a statement: “We are aware of the incident and will be working closely with our customer and relevant partners to understand the cause of the issue.”
An aviation expert Professor Jason Middletonat the University of New South Wales in Sydney, said it appeared that the engine cowling had been ripped away forward of the main compressor blade.
“When one of these things happens you often don’t know how the damage began. It could have begun from loose screws,” he said.
Zhang said. “The engine for the aircraft is a big issue so we need to investigate with the governments, with the Rolls Royce Company and with our headquarters as well.”