Brussels Airlines A330 Suffers Failures of Both Engines at Different Times
An Airbus A330 operated by Brussels Airlines suffered one of the rarest of occurrences for twin-engined aircraft today: a failure of both engines in flight. The aircraft landed safely after one engine failed and was restarted, and then the other failed as well.
The A330-200, built in 2000 and flying with the Belgian registration 00-SFU, was bound for Brussels from Kinshasa on December 11 when it experienced a failure of the left Pratt and Whitney PW4000 while cruising at 40,000 ft. The pilots immediately declared an emergency and planned to divert to Djerba, in Tunisia, as a precaution. The pilots, while working the problem, were able to get the left engine to reignite, and chose instead to proceed to Brussels.The flight proceeded without incident until its approach into Brussels. The Belgian aviation saferty agency BEA is reporting that on approach the right-hand PW4000 failed and reignited multiple times. The pilots landed the plane safely at Brussels and at the time of touchdown both engines were powered.
Though there was no point in the flight in which the plane didn't have one of its two engines powered, failure of both engines during a single flight is very rare. The 18-year old aircraft is still on the ground in Brussels while the investigation into the incident proceeds. According to incident-tracking site The Aviation Herald, the airline suspects that fuel contamination in Kinshasa may be the cause.
Update: The headline has been updated to clarify that the engines failed at different times. The story has been updated with the possible cause of the incident, fuel contamination.