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ATSB: Procedures and training leads to safe landing for unexpected engine failure by birdstrike on A330
3 May 2018

A birdstrike and engine failure occurrence on an Airbus A330 in Australia demonstrated that preparation, training and proper procedures help flight crews respond to rare and unexpected situations, according to an ATSB investigation report.

On the night of 3 July 2017, AirAsia X flight D7207, an Airbus 330 aircraft, departed Gold Coast Airport, Australia, for a scheduled passenger transport flight to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. On board the aircraft were 14 crew members and 345 passengers.
Shortly after take-off, the flight crew were alerted to an engine stall in the number two engine. At the same time a loud banging noise was heard. In response, the flight crew commenced their engine stall procedures and made a PAN PAN call.

The crew were then alerted to an engine failure and fire in the same engine. The crew commenced their engine failure procedures and upgraded the distress phase to a MAYDAY and requested a diversion to Brisbane Airport. The aircraft was diverted and landed safely. There were no injuries.

The ATSB investigation found the engine failure was the result of a birdstrike by a masked lapwing that had fractured a small piece from the tip of one of the engine’s fan blades. A lapwing is a medium sized bird—weighing between 0.23–0.40 kg.

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