Aircraft Engine Maintenance at its best!

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#1
This is pretty hard to believe, but... From Aviation and Travel Industry News:
IAG said:
Chinese aircraft maintenance
They say don't ask and don't tell. But you have to see this. Don't ask where we got this.

"For anybody who is not familiar with a jet engine, a jet fan blade should be perfectly smooth. You might want to think twice the next time you fly on a Chinese Airline.

A pilot for a Chinese carrier requested permission and landed at FRA, (Germany) for an unscheduled refueling stop. The reason became soon apparent to the ground crew: The Number 3 engine had been shutdown previously because of excessive vibration, and because it didn't look too good. It had apparently been no problem for the tough guys back in China: as they took some sturdy straps and wrapped them around two of the fan blades and the structures behind, thus stopping any unwanted windmilling (engine spinning by itself due to airflow passing through the blades during flight) and associated uncomfortable vibration caused by the suboptimal fan.

Note that the straps are seat belts....how resourceful! After making the "repairs", off they went into the wild blue yonder with another revenue-making flight on only three engines! With the increased fuel consumption, they got a bit low on fuel, and just set it down at the closest airport (FRA) for a quick refill.

That's when the problems started: The Germans, who are kind of picky about this stuff, inspected the malfunctioning engine and immediately grounded the aircraft. Besides the seat belts, notice the appalling condition of the fan blades. The airline operator had to send a chunk of money to get the first engine replaced (took about 10 days).

The repair contractor decided to do some impromptu inspection work on the other engines, none of which looked all that great either. The result: a total of 3 engines were eventually changed on this plane before it was permitted to fly again."




 
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gard2372

Quite Involved in Discussions
#2
Marc,

While this story may be true, I believe some of the facts are misleading. As this article does not really specify where the Chinese air carrier originated from, while it is assumed that the plane came from China. I can tell you with my prior jet engine and gas turbine maintenance, inspection, overhaul and testing experience that this engine would not have lasted the upteen hours a flight from China to Germany would have taken. THe virbation story is plausible, but I doubt that this engine would have gotten above ground idle without violent vibrations with those seat belts acting as extra moment weights on the centrifugal forces of the inlet fan blades.

Nonetheless, an interesting story with scary implications. :bonk:
 
#4
Dear me, what a mess... That engine is thoroughly thrashed. Good idea not to run it, exceedingly bad idea to deliberatly take off on three engines (The belts were just there to stop it from windmilling).

Anyway, this cannot be just wear and tear (Well maybe tear) :mg: It is quite plain that it has digested something that was never supposed to be a part of its diet. Note the bent blade edges... Tough old thing to stay in one piece after a strike like that, btw. They must have shut it down right quick when whatever it was, happened. I wonder what caused it. What do you think, gard?

/Claes
 
M

Madfox

#6
Gees, the pilot pulls in for gas and ends up having to get a new engine(s).
If some gas station in the states tried that they'd be the subject of an undercover investigation on "20/20" or "60 Minutes."
That's why there are four engines!

The Madfox
(Actually, something akin to this was a good debate among statisticians. When it was being discussed to replace the 707 model of Air Force 1 many wanted the 767. The 747 won because of the extra engines. But dissenters noted the extra engines actually increase the probability of an engine failure!)
ETOPS...engines turn or people swim
 
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