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Monday, October 24, 2011

Experts examine plane’s engines

Source: The National-Monday,24th October 2011 SALVAGED engine parts of the Airlines PNG Dash 8 aircraft, which crashed in Madang, have been stripped by its manufacturers, Pratt and Whitney. They are being assisted by experts from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau. The engine parts and the propeller blades were airlifted to Port Moresby from Madang last week. Senior transport safety officer from the bureau Eric Blankenstein and a team of technical experts from Singapore will try to establish if there are any mechanical issues in the engine which could have contributed to the accident. Blankenstein was busy at work with a camera and small torch looking intensely at the engine parts and taking photos of the left engine. Assembled neatly was the burnt aluminium alloy of the metal sheets covering the right engine which looked like white paint on all metal pieces. In the front are engine parts of the left and right engines and few mangled blades of the propellers. Blankenstein said they were still stripping the mangled engine parts. Propeller parts will be sent to Hamilton Standards, manufacturer of the propellers in America for further analysis. According to Accident and Investigation Commission chief executive officer, David Inau, the blade angles “when in flight gives corresponding power values so Hamil­ton Standards can be able to tell us at what angle it was set in which we can be able to determine what occurred”. The investigators will also look at the pilot’s flying records, medical records and maintenance records to assist with the investigation. Inau said they hoped to complete their work by next week but the process was tedious and could take longer. Data from the Dash 8’s flight recorder sent overseas for analysis has been downloaded awaiting analysis from the manufacturer. The team is working at the Papua New Guinea Defence Force air transport hangar.

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