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giftedviz.com March 23, 2017


REX flight's detached propeller found in bushland south-west of Sydney

21 March 2017, 01:13 | Darnell Patrick

Losing a propeller mid-flight is an'extremely rare incident which hasn't been seen since 1991

Losing a propeller mid-flight is an'extremely rare incident which hasn't been seen since 1991

A propeller which separated from a Regional Express flight over Camden has been found, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau has confirmed.

The Sydney-based airline, also known as Rex, said it had grounded another five of its fleet of 55 Saab 340s because their propeller gear boxes and shafts were from the same series as the defective propeller.

Six aircraft have been grounded for immediate inspection, including the one involved in the incident.

The only recorded similar mishap occurred in 1991 when a Comair Airways plane landed safely after losing a propeller, Howell said.

"There will be some minor disruptions for 1 or 2 days", the spokesperson said in an emailed statement on Monday.

The propeller will form a key part of the ATSB's investigation into what caused it to break off at the shaft of the Saab 340's right-hand engine.

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Regional Express chief operating officer Neville Howell said safety remained the priority as investigations continued.

The Saab 340's engine was shut down on Friday following "abnormal indications" with the pilot "feathering" the propeller to reduce drag. Investigators also want to examine the propeller for clues, but that had not been found by Monday, Rex said.

The first officer saw the propeller separate and travel horizontally upwards and away from the aircraft.

The five planes belong to the same series of the SAAB 340 model which is used by Regional Express throughout its network. "The Captain displayed exceptional skills in landing the aircraft so smoothly in bad weather and strong winds, so much so that the passengers did not notice anything different".

"This is an extremely rare event and the only other recorded similar event was in 1991 when United States carrier Comair's aircraft also landed safely after a separation of its propeller", he said.

The 34-seat plane, carrying 16 passengers and three crew, was about 19 kilometres from Sydney Airport when its right-hand propeller flew off last Friday, narrowly avoiding hitting the wing and tail.



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