Aviation

Virgin under investigation after flight’s engines ‘flame out’ during landing

Transport authorities are investigating Virgin Australia after two engines “flamed out” on one of its aircraft during descent.

The ATR 72 twin-engine turboprop was en route from Sydney to Canberra on Thursday the 13th when the incident occurred.

The engines had to be re-ignited manually before the plane touched down but nobody was injured during the landing.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has categorised the incident as “serious”.

“While the aircraft was descending through 11,000ft in heavy rain, the right engine’s power rolled back (decreased) and the engine flamed out. The engine automatically re-started within five seconds,” the ATSB said.

“The descent continued and, while passing through 10,000ft, the left engine’s power also rolled back and that engine flamed out before automatically re-lighting.

“The crew selected manual engine ignition for the remainder of the flight and the landing.”

The aircraft remained at Canberra Airport for three days after the incident but returned to its regular operations on Monday and has since completed 11 more flights, as per SMH.

The investigation is expected to be finished in late 2019 and the aircraft will continue to frequent Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and regional areas into next year.

“Should a critical safety issue be identified during the course of the investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify relevant parties so appropriate action can be taken,” the ATSB said.

A Virgin Australia spokesperson told SMH the incident had “no consumer impact.”

“Virgin Australia can confirm the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is investigating an engine incident involving one of our ATR-72 aircraft,” the spokesperson said.

“The aircraft, travelling from Sydney to Canberra, landed safely and there was no customer impact. Safety is always our number one priority and we are assisting the ATSB with their investigation.”

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