Qantas Probing Why Panels Fell Off Engine During Takeoff
SYDNEY (AP)--Qantas Airways Ltd. (A.QAN) said Thursday it is investigating what caused two panels to fall off the engine of a Boeing 747-400 Tuesday before takeoff, after which it flew to the U.S without the parts.
Qantas Executive General Manager David Forsyth said flight QF7 took off from Sydney airport Tuesday, unaware that the panels had come off, and landed hours later in Los Angeles without incident. Safety wasn't compromised, he said.
"The dislodged panels, which cover the core of the engine and streamline the air in the engine, did not affect the safe operation of the aircraft," Forsyth said.
The panels, each about one meter across, were found later in grass next to the runway.
"The flight crew received no indication the panels had dislodged from the aircraft which operated normally to Los Angeles."
The flight was carrying 162 passengers and an undisclosed number of crew.
Forsyth said the engine manufacturer had experienced the problem before and is working on modifications.
Confirmation of the latest incident came a day after Qantas admitted it was at fault for the 1999 crash of a Qantas jet during a thunderstorm in Bangkok.
The carrier said the jet carrying 410 passengers and crew overshot the runway because it hadn't properly trained its pilots how to land on wet runways.
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