Blade Tear Blamed for 2018 Metal Fragments Fall from JAL Jet

Society Politics

Tokyo, July 30 (Jiji Press)--An incident in which metal fragments fell from a Japan Airlines <9201> flight in 2018 was likely caused by a blade of a high-pressure turbine tearing off and damaging engine parts as a result, a Japanese transport ministry panel said in a report Thursday.

The 15-centimeter-long metallic blade was torn off the turbine in the left engine of the Boeing 767-300 jet while it was flying over the town of Mashiki in the southwestern Japan prefecture of Kumamoto on May 24, 2018, resulting in a total of some 73 kilograms of metal fragments falling to the ground, according to the report.

The board discovered cracks in a layer of coating inside of the blade base due to corrosion caused by high temperatures. The blade itself likely had cracks due to metal fatigue after the airplane experienced over 15,000 takeoffs and landings. Large parts of the low-pressure turbine in the engine were also damaged by the blade fragments.

A turbine blade tear was also the cause of an incident in which the right engine of a plane of the same model caught fire in December 2005.

No one was injured in the 2018 incident, which took shortly after the JAL jet took off from Kumamoto Airport. But damage was caused to properties, including cracks in windows at a hospital. Some 400 pieces of metal fragments related to the incident were collected.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press