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SIA under probe in Australia after B-747 engine pod hits the ground at Sydney Airport

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Singapore Airlines (SIA) is being investigated by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) after an engine pod on a Boeing 747 freighter aircraft hit the ground while the pilot was trying to abort a landing.

[SINGAPORE] Singapore Airlines (SIA) is being investigated by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) after an engine pod on a Boeing 747 freighter aircraft hit the ground while the pilot was trying to abort a landing. There were no passengers on the cargo plane.

A podded engine is a jet engine in a pod, typically attached below the wing or to the tail of the aircraft.

The "serious" incident involving an SIA Cargo Boeing 747-412F freighter occurred on Nov 28 at Sydney Airport, the ASTB said in a notice on its website.

During a missed approach procedure, the number 1 engine pod struck the ground, said the authority.

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Pilots perform the procedure when they deem that a safe landing cannot be executed, for whatever reason.

This can happen just before touchdown.

The ASTB said that investigations will include interviews with flight crew onboard the aircraft at the time, and other relevant parties involved.

The authority will also obtain other relevant information including cockpit recorded data.

A report will be released at the end of the probe which should be completed by the second quarter of 2020.

"Should a critical safety issue be identified during the course of the investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify relevant stakeholders so appropriate and timely safety action can be taken", the authority said.

According to FlightGlobal, the Pratt & Whitney PW4000-powered freighter was first delivered to SIA Cargo in 2004. It suffered major damage in 2006, as a result of an unspecified incident, and was stored at Brussels (Belgium) for repairs.

An SIA spokesman told The Straits Times that flight SQ7292, operating from Singapore to Sydney on Nov 28, executed a go-around due to a rejected landing.

There were no passengers and two crew members on board, he said.

"During the go-around, one of the aircraft's engines made contact with the runway. The subsequent landing was uneventful. The aircraft taxied to the terminal uneventfully," he added.

Engineers assessed the damage to the aircraft and a decision was made to delay the outbound flight, SIA said.

The airline is cooperating fully with the ATSB and Singapore's Transport Safety Investigation Bureau, and is also undertaking its own investigation into the incident, the spokesman added.

As at 2.55pm, SIA shares were down 1.1 per cent or 10 Singapore cents to S$9.06, after the news was announced. 

THE STRAITS TIMES