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Two ATSB investigators today arrived in San Francisco to begin their investigation into the 30 August incident involving an Australian operated aircraft that experienced engine failure just outside of US airspace.

The plane was forced to return to San Francisco airport shortly after take-off due to a failure with its number 4 engine. The failure was mechanical in nature and led to ejected material puncturing a hole in the outboard engine and damaging the plane's flaps.

The investigators are expected to remain in San Francisco over the next few days to examine the engine and components and work with the operator and crew to determine the cause of the incident.

The engine will then be shipped to maintenance facilities in Hong Kong where it will be further examined by ATSB's technical investigators.

More details about the investigation will be made available as information comes to hand.

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Last update 01 April 2011