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On 2 May 2011, a Boeing 717 aircraft, registered VH-NXE and operated by Cobham Aviation, was on a scheduled flight from Perth to Newman, WA. During the climb, the left engine failed. After completing safety checks and declaring a PAN, the crew returned the aircraft to Perth and landed without incident. An engine inspection identified blade failures in the left engine's high-pressure turbine (HPT) module. After disassembly, it was determined that the loss of a single HPT blade due to a fatigue failure had occurred.

The engine manufacturer had implemented a number of modifications to the HPT blades since 2003; culminating in a new-design blade, designated the Mk II. The subject engine had not been retrofitted with Mk II blades at the time of the occurrence.

The manufacturer had issued three service bulletins (SB) to operators regarding the installation and modification of engines with previous-design HPT blades. The operator is complying with these SB requirements; modifications have been scheduled to the engine fleet and are in progress with the manufacturer.

Download Final Report - Bulletin
[ Download PDF: 4.43MB]
General details
Date: 02 May 2011 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 0552 WST  
Location   (show map):37 km east of Perth Airport Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Western Australia Occurrence type: Engine failure or malfunction 
Release date: 14 March 2012 Occurrence class: Technical 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Incident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: The Boeing Company 
Aircraft model: 717 
Aircraft registration: VH-NXE 
Serial number: 55063 
Operator: Cobham Aviation 
Type of operation: Air Transport High Capacity 
Damage to aircraft: Unknown 
Departure point:Perth, WA
Destination:Mt Newman,WA
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Last update 01 March 2016