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A China Eastern aircraft was forced to return back to Sydney (SYD) yesterday after a it was discovered that one of the plane’s engine had a hole in it. MU Flight 736, operated by an Airbus A330, departed from SYD on time and was on its way to its final destination, Shanghai (PVG).

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About an hour after departing, the pilot noticed and reported problems with one of the plane’s engines. Pictures that have surfaced since the incident show what looks to be a large hole in the engine.

According to passengers on board the flight, there was a loud bang before a burning smell took over the cabin. A passenger told Seven News that cabin crew tried to calm down nervous passengers and told them to fasten their seatbelts. Fortunately, the crew was able to land the plane safely without incident or any injuries. According to a spokeswoman from China Eastern, Cathay Pacific inspected the plane before it departed SYD.

The Australia Transport Safety Bureau announced that it’s set to begin an investigation into what happened. Bob Armstrong, a spokesman for the ATSB, told Reuters that the findings of investigations are normally available within a month, however, if a “more serious issue” was to be identified, results of the investigation could come even sooner. China Eastern said it’s involving aviation authorities from Australia and China to investigate the incident. And a spokesman for Airbus said that it was in contact with Rolls-Royce, the manufacturer of the Trent 700 series engine, to determine what happened.

Thankfully no one was injured in the incident and the aircraft was able to safely land back at SYD. Nonetheless, it must have been terrifying for all on board. At this point, it’s still too early to tell exactly what happened to the engine, but according to an Australian aviation expert, it appeared that the engine’s casing had been torn off in front of the main compressor blade.

Featured image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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