Aviation News, Headlines & Alerts
Category: <span>Falling Parts</span>

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Japan Airlines Flight Makes Emergency Landing in Japan

Japan Airlines flight JL-632 made an emergency landing in Kumamoto, Japan, on May 24th.

The Boeing 767-300 plane took off for Tokyo, Japan, but had to return shortly afterwards due to an engine issue.

The plane landed safely. All two hundred and nine passengers and eight crew members remained unharmed.

Japan’s Ministry of Transport reported that metallic pieces from the left-hand engine were found at various locations on the ground below the flight path.

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CHC Helikopter Crashes In Norway en Route from Gullfaks B Oil rig

Friday night 13 people died in a helicopter crash in a Eurocopter EC225 Super Puma crash in Norway,in Turøy west of Sotra. The helicopter was flying out of Gullfaks B Oil rig to the Bergen – Flesland airport whenthe rotor separated from the helicopter. Helicopters, boats and firetrucks responded to the scene, and though no numbers were available, reporter Kyrre Styve from the Vestnytt newspaper said it was “everything available.” The helicopter’s rotor system was on land and the Fuselage was found in the water. The tail was raised by a crane from 7 meters deep. The helicopter is owned by CHC Helikopter service.

Statoil CEO Arne Sigve Nylund said “This is a profound tragedy. There are 13 colleagues who do not come home.” Gullfaks B oil field work has been temporarily suspended.

The Joint Rescue Coordination Center said, “We do not believe anyone can be found alive.” Eleven Norwegians, one Briton and one Italian were aboard.

A center for relatives has been set up at Scandic Kokstad hotel in Bergen. The number for families is 800 500 20.

Falling Parts in Bogota

Ownership History of HK-4262

A Lineas Aereas Suramericanas LAS cargo flight (Bogota-Quito route) developed an engine issue en route and returned to El Dorado airport.

Engine issue? I’d say so. Parts fell off in a residential area in Fontibon, San Jose, Bogotá Colombia. Two people (one struck, one burned) and ten homes were affected. Twenty-one year old Aceneth Roldán was struck in the neck.

Neighborhood residents said the falling pieces sounded like falling glass as it struck their tile roofing. Aeronáutica Civil is doing a survey of the residents to assess the damage, which is minor.

Pieces apparently came from one engine of the Boeing 727.

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Emergency Slide Unit Fell Off Midair; Thomas Cook Flight Makes Emergency Landing

Thomas CookThomas Cook flight TCX1638 had to return and make an emergency landing at Gatwick airport in West Sussex, UK, on October 31.

The Boeing 757-3CQ departed from the airport at around 9 a.m. and was heading to Hurghada, Egypt, when its emergency slide unit fell off. The pilot was then instructed to turn back and land at Gatwick.

The flight landed safely and all 237 passengers remained unharmed. The passengers were shifted to another flight.

It is believed that the emergency slide fell near the border of Kent and East Sussex. The local police were informed and they sent search teams to spot the unit.

Thomas Cook and the Air Accidents Investigation Branch are investigating.

Finland: Skydivers Lose lives in Glider School Crash

Pirkanmaalta students at the Jämijärvi glider school in Satakunta lost their lives when the plane they were about to sky dive in crashed. The plane may have suffered engine problems. One witness may have seen a wing detach but this has not been confirmed. The debris field is a large area, and the badly burned parts will be a challenge to investigators.

One witness, Soili Kollani said (translated to English) “I looked at the sky and saw the machine. It was pretty high. Then it just came down. It burned on the way down, and rotated.”

Several helicopters were on the scene for search and rescue.

A search for survivors near Jämijärven Airport found three alive: the pilot and two passengers. The first person out of the plane was wearing a helmet cam, which may have captured the accident and may or may not have useful data.

The police currently have custody of the cam. Eight bodies were found inside the wreckage, all with parachutes. The three survivors were found outside the plane, though the fall was described by witnesses as “a rag doll.”

The turboprop-branded Comp Air 8 has a jet-powered propeller. The Comp Air 8 is a kit plane manufactured by Comp Air Inc in Titusville Florida.

The contact page for witnesses of the accident or relatives of the victims is here:


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Plane Crash in South Africa Claims Three Lives

A kit plane that crashed when its wings fell off, impacted near a landing strip in KwaZulu Natal province near Campertown South Africa, and resulted in three fatalities. A resident near the impact zone saw the plane crash sans wings.

According to media reports, the plane, which crashed on Saturday, March 15, 2014, burned completely. A private ambulance service spokesperson said that the plane could be a four or six seater and that it is burnt beyond recognition.

The police have confirmed the death of three persons in the incident. Three Durban residents flew it from Wonderboom International Airport where Kim Gibbings of Kloof had taken possession of the plane. He was identified as one of the victims. Gibbings is survived by an ex wife in Canada, two daughters, and a second wife.

The Ravin 500 broke up in the air and the wreckage rained down on Emoyeni sugar plantation, leaving a debris field of eight hundred meters.

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The Mystery of Why?

Maintenance, maintenance, maintenance. I’ve said this too many times to count.

Here’s a question: The event below was a maintenance ferry flight. Every time I hear about a post maintenance ferry flight that crashed, I wonder how that maintenance was performed, and what they forgot to do. Maybe they performed maintenance perfectly—I don’t know. It’s just what strikes my mind when that ferry flight goes down. What did that maintenance crew miss? It’s too much like having a brake failure accident while bringing the family car home from the brake shop. But this accident was PRE-inspection. So maybe it is like having the brakes fail on the way to the brake shop…

On January 19, 2014, at 12:20 , a PT. Intan Angkasa Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain, PK-IWT, flying from from Sentani to Tual crashed on approach to Dumatubun Airport, Maluku, Indonesia. The pilot and three passengers were fatally injured and the airplane was destroyed.

Some reports say it was hit by lightning, but most planes are designed not to catch fire when struck by lightning; careful lightning protection has been engineered into the aircraft. The current tends to travel through the conductive aluminum exterior skin and off an extremity like a wing tip. Additional shielding protects components from haywire side effects called “lightning indirect effects” and bursting into flames is not one of those effects, except in the fuel system, where even a spark is lethal.

So, again, I question maintenance, and the integrity of the fuel system. Was the aluminum skin around the fuel system thick enough to withstand a lighting strike?

Or perhaps it was something else entirely. The flight was described as being pounded by rain and fierce winds (they had just refueled in a thunderstorm)…and the wing fell off before the plane crashed. So was it the gale force winds that caused the wing to come off? Inquiring minds want to know. As always, the investigation is key to finding out why the wing came off and the plane crashed.

Those aboard were a pilot, a technician and two airline employees.

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Propeller Flies off Fokker F27 in Paris

A Europe Airpost Fokker F27 owned by Miniliner made an emergency landing at Charles-de-Gaulle airport after a left propeller flew off on takeoff. ??

The propeller chopped a hole in the fuselage and flew off to parts unknown.

Officials are hoping to recover the lost propellor blade. Gendarmerie Transports Aériens are providing a recovery number if it is found: 01 48 62 17 00

As this was a freight flight, there were no passengers aboard. None of the crew were injured. ( The occupants were listed as three crew.)

Vietnam AIrlines lost Wheel

A Vietnam Airlines ATR-72 with 45 aboard en route from Cat Bi to Da Nang developed problems landing in Da Nang.

On landing, one of the plane’s two landing gear wheels was missing. No one aboard was injured.

The passengers had already left the airport by the time techs discovered the front shaft of the plane had broken off on one side, resulting in the loss of the wheel.

The plane had last been inspected on Sept 21.

Cat Bi and Da Nang airports have been searched for the lost wheel, but it is still lost.

CAAV ordered Vietnam Airlines to discontinue use of the entire fleet of 14 ATR-72 planes pending the results of the investigation.

Engine Falls Off of Plane

Here’s something we don’t hear too often:

A plane’s propeller blade broke off, vibrated and the plane’s engine broke and fell off during flight. People survived this, so we can presume the flight didn’t get too high.

On Sept 10, 2013, a Vintage Wings of Canada Boeing PT-27 Stearman took off and crashed with two aboard.

The plane crashed right after takeoff from McGill Airfield. The two aboard the plane suffered minor injuries.

Fire trucks and ambulances responded to the scene.

Photo found on Twitter

The incident is being investigated by Canadian Transportation Safety board.

Canadian Aviation Daily Reporting System reported this as:

A Vintage Wings of Canada Boeing B75N1 (C-GKUE) from Brandon, MB (CYBR) to St. Andrews, MB (CYAV) crashed on departure from runway 26 at CYBR. Emergency services and RCMP responded. RCC, TSB, NOC and CACO all advised.

Update AOR 166176-V1: A Vintage Wings of Canada Boeing B75N1 (C-GKUE) from Brandon, MB (CYBR) to St. Andrews, MB (CYAV) departed runway 26 and shortly after take-off the engine was observed detached from the aircraft. Aircraft went vertical and then crashed onto the runway. ARFF responded in 2 minutes. Runway 08/26 closed at 1807Z. As a result, Westjet Encore (WJE3242) DH8D diverted to Winnipeg, MB and a private M20P returned to Portage La Prairie, MB. Runway was re-opened at 1950Z.

EasyJet Falling Pieces

On August 12, an easyJet Airbus A320-214 en route from Milan-Malpensa Airport to Lisbon took off okay, but pieces of the plane were falling.

The control tower spotted the debris on the runway.

After losing parts of the engine cowling, pilots made a safe, if dramatic landing back at the Milan-Malpensa. None of the 174 passengers and crew sustained injury, though most of them went through an emotional roller coaster, especially when a passenger screamed out that “A piece of the wing has gone flying.

Pilots circled for twenty minutes before landing; then after landing safely, when pilots put engines into reverse, more stuff fell off the engine. Although fire engines were on standby, standby is all they had to do. Passengers and crew exited via the staircase.

In a genius of understatement, Easyjet confirmed “flight EZY2715 from Milan Malpensa Airport to Lisbon on 12 August returned from airborne shortly after take off due to a technical issue with one of the engines.”

Passengers were provided an alternative flight.

In George’s Point of View

I don’t make a lot of comments, due to my copious free time, but I can’t resist. In the meantime while waiting for the updates, we are considering shipping easyJet some Superglue, or maybe a certified mechanic or two. In the words of mechanics everywhere, lefty loosie, righty tighty. I am no mechanic, but this smells to me like…dare I say it…

Maintenance! Maintenance! Maintenance!

Not to make light of the situation though–airline safety is no joke. We expect there will be public updates about the investigation into this incident.

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Plane Fails Takeoff in Congo. Propellors fly off the plane

On a United Nations MONUSCO flight departing Lubumbashi for Kalemie/Goma, during takeoff, a propellor flew off the plane. THe plane veered off the runway, damaging the undercarrage on non-paved ground.

A Radio Okapi report said:
Un avion de la Monusco a raté son décollage ce lundi 29 juillet matin à l’aéroport de la Lwano à Lubumbashi. Tous les passagers et membres d’équipage sont sains et saufs.
Selon des sources aéronautiques de la Monusco, cette situation a été causée par une panne technique. Les hélices se sont détachées et le moteur endommagé. Cet appareil de type Antonov était encore immobilisé dans la soirée à 200 mètres de la piste.

A MONUSCO plane missed take-off Monday morning at July 29 at the Lubumbashi Lwano Airport. All passengers and crew are safe.

According to aviation sources MONUSCO, this situation was caused by a technical failure. The propellers and the engine were damaged. This Antonov plane is still stuck 200 meters from the runway.

BC Float Plane Propeller Falls Off

On June 24 a Beaver float plane took off from Powell River, B.C. and made an emergency landing in Halfmoon Bay when its propeller fell off.

There was minor damage to the pontoons but otherwise the plane was intact.

June 24 at approximately 1:40 p.m., Sunshine Coast RCMP and Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue (RCMSAR) were dispatched. The downed plane was towed to a dock with the respondents and a local boater.

The pilot and three passengers were uninjured.

The incident may have been the result of an engineering malfunction.

Video below

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Divers Search for Angel Flight Pilot

on May 24, 2013, an Angel flight #N31743 northeast Piper PA 34 en route from Massachusetts to Rome NY crashed in a reservoir in a wooded area in Ephratah New York. Visibility at the time in Rome was 10 miles.

Divers were scheduled to search daylight on the 25th. The bodies of a man and a woman, believed to be the two passengers were recovered. The search for the pilot’s body is ongoing.

The plane circled the area once, then witnesses say they heard a struggling engine and a backfire, then saw the plane “flipping through the air” with pieces of the plane falling from the sky.

Angel Flight teams provide free air transportation and medical care.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.

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Helicopter Tragedy in the Amazon

Photographer Miguel Cano Alva

On January 7, 2013, Chinook helicopter (registration N241CH) Pucallpa-Tarapoto was en route near the Laguna Yarinacocha in Pucallpa Peru when it came down in the Amazon.

The helicopter took off at took off at 2:57 pm, taking a load to Tarapoto.

According to reports, although the crew tossed the load while airborne, the plane broke up in mid air and caught fire. There were seven people aboard.

There were 2 Peruvians aboard: Joel Castillo and Luis Ramos.

Five Americans: Dan Immel , Ed Córdova, Jaime Pickett, Lee Bradford and Darrel Birkes.

Those aboard were employed by Petrominerales Ltd, a Canadian-based oil exploration firm.

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Crabtree Accident Preliminary Investigation Out

What: RV6 two-seat airplane
Where: Crabtree
When: Nov 26, 2012
Who: 2 aboard
Why: The preliminary report on the Nov 26 crash of a 2 seat kit plane says a witness saw one wing fold upward during a turn, and the wing apparently hit the canopy, shattering its glass.

A wing was lost in flight and found thousands of feet from the location of the wreckage.

Aircraft owner Timothy Dean Carter of Portland and commercial pilot Jeff Earl Kropf of Halsey were killed in the crash.

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Falling Boeing Door Hits No One

What: ABX Air Boeing 767-200 en route from Cincinnati, to Seattle
Where: Seattle
When: Sep 7th 2012
Who: Crew
Why: A cargo flight lost a little something over Washington state. The refrigerator-sized landing gear door crashed to a Kent Washington street and skidded along the ground.

The FAA picked up the DHL plane part.

The video below mentions a couple other cases when planes have rained parts down on people below:

  • May: Air Canada Boeing 777 en route to Japan scattered engine parts over Toronto
  • July: Boeing 787 Dreamliner undergoing testing scattered engine parts over a Charleston runway

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Air Canada Engine Spews Parts

Click to view full size photo at Airliners.net
Contact photographer Francisco Muro

What: Air Canada Boeing 777-333ER
Where: Toronto Canada
When: May 28 2012
Who: 318 passengers, 16 crew
Why: After a louder than normal take-off, fifteen minutes into the flight, pilots of the Air Canada Boeing en route from Toronto to Japan shut off an engine. Witnesses reported smoke and fire coming from the right engine.

The flight had to return to Toronto following engine problems. Falling bits of engine debris “hot bits of blackened metal” fell from the sky and caused some damage to parked vehicles near Derry and Kennedy Rds in Mississauga. The entire circuit of the flight took about an hour and a half.

There were no injuries on the flight, but emergency services were on standby on landing, in expectation of trauma.

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Japan Rocket Warning Marks No Fly Zone

Notice to airmen
North Korea is launch of a satellite between April 12 and April 16; and as it is going up by rocket which will scatter debris, area Airlines need to be forewarned.

At least 19 airlines including Philippine Airlines, Japan Airlines, Korean Airlines and Garuda are rerouting to avoid the rocket or any falling debris. Alternative routes may add 13 to thirty minutes to flights. The Philippines has warned ships to steer from certain arieas where debris might fall into the Yellow sea. The second stage is expected to fall in water 140 km from Luzon.

However amateur sky watchers are saying in order for the satellite to get into the correct orbit, these experts say, they risk early stages dropping on allies’. The question remains North Korea Lying About Its Rocket Launch?

Air Ambulance Emergency Landing

What: ORNGE AugustaWestland air ambulance en route from Billy Bishop island airport to a patient west of Toronto
Where: Colonel Samuel Smith Park south of Lake Shore Boulevard West.
When: March 23, 2012, 6:00 pm
Who: 2 pilots, 2 medics
Why: While en route to pick up a Toronto patient, the air ambulance door opened and a window blew out. The pilots had to make an immediate emergency landing near Humber College.

No one was injured, but they had been in jeopardy. Sn ORNGE insider said if the door or window hit the tail rotor “it could have been catastrophic.”

Two aircraft engineers removed the faulty door. The flight crew flew the chopper back to the airport for examination.

A known problem of the AW139 is the helicopters tail rotors. An EASA directive of Aug. 19 2011 ordered helicopter owners to replace the tail rotors after 600 hours of flight following a fatal accident “possibly caused by cracks in a TR (tail rotor) blade.”

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Wizzair Wizzes off without the Engine Access Panel

Click to view full size photo at Airliners.net
Contact photographer Aquadman

What: Wizzair Airbus A320-200 en route from Bucharest Romania to Milan Italy
Where: Bucharest
When: Nov 30th 2011
Who: 157 passengers
Why: We haven’t heard about falling parts in a while.

The airbus was en route over Bucharest when an engine access panel fell off.


The pilots returned to the airport within twenty minutes. I wonder where the access panel ended up. Who forgot to fasten it? Inquiring minds want to know these things. There’s more to this story than what we’ve seen.

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Outboard Door Outward Bound

Click to view full size photo at Airliners.net
Contact photographer Andre Wadman

What: Skyworks Dornier Do-328 from Berne Switzerland to Hamburg
Where: Hamburg
When: Nov 30th 2011
Who: not available
Why: After landing in Hamburg, maintenance ground crew found that the “left main gear outboard door” had not made the flight with the rest of the plane. The plane was ferried back to Berne.

Delta Boeing Engine Emergency

What: Delta Boeing 737-800 en route from Fort Lauderdale to Minneapolis
Where: Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport
Who: 119 passengers 6 crew
Why: After takeoff from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, the Boeing suffered engine failure and had to turn back to the airport, sprinkling bits and pieces of the damaged engine over Florida. The plane made a safe landing. Passengers disembarked and transferred to an alternative flight which reached Minneapolis with considerable delay but no further trouble.

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Russia: Wing Falls off New Antonov, Crash Kills 6

What: Voronezh Aircraft Joint Stock Company (VASO) Antonov 148-100E on the border between the Voronezh and Belgorod regions.
Where: Garbuzovo, Belgorod Region (Russia)
When: Mar 05, 2011
Who: 6 fatalities
Why: The new Antonov-148, being developed in the Ukraine in cooperation with 14 countries, and was sold by the Voronezh Aircraft Factory to the Myanmar Air Force and is designed to carry 79 to 99 passengers. Hundreds of technical problems have been recorded, but the plane is still in its testing phase. On a test flight to Myanmar, witnesses saw a wing and the tail fall off the plane while it was still in the air over a school and kindergarten. The crew managed to avoid the school, and the plane crashed and burned in a field.

Two pilots from Myanmar died at the crash. Those killed included Yuri Zubritsky, First Class Test Pilot, Captain; First Class Test Flight Navigator Vladimir Yasko; Test Engineer Alexander Korolyov; Lead Flight Test Engineer Anatoly Samoshkin and two Republic of the Union of Myanmar pilots Htein-Lin-Aung and Zaw-Htun-Aung. The flight recorders have been recovered.

Five engines and 13 firefighters responded.

The plane’s contractor was JSC Voronezh Aircraft Manufacturing Company. (VASO). The plane had flown 31 flights.

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Engine Failure; Falling Parts

What: Delta Airlines Boeing 737-800 en route from Fort Lauderdale, FL to Minneapolis
Where: Fort Lauderdale
When: Feb 20th 2011
Who: 140 passengers
Why: After taking off from Fort Lauderdale, the engine made an explosive noise, and pieces of the plane started falling off. A search made of the runway revealed nothing. However, after a left engine failed and the Boeing returned to make a safe landing, it was discovered that the falling parts were turbine blades which had exited through the engine exhaust.

Passengers exited normally on the runway. They also entered an alternative plane provided for them, reaching Minneapolis four hours later.

Parts were found at Port Everglades Cargo Entry Point.

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