The US National Transportation Safety Board revealed in a preliminary report issued 30 August that an Emirates Boeing 777-200ER crew continued a 5h flight from Moscow’s Domodedovo airport to Dubai on 5 March after hearing a “loud bang” and receiving several error messages on departure.
Pilots of Flight 132 (A6-EMH) reported the incident after landing at Dubai, according to the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) of the United Arab Emirates, the authority handling the investigation.
“Following the bang a number of status messages were annunciated, these messages occurred over a 16 minute time as per the Boeing AHM (airplane health management) data,” the report stated.
Messages indicated a problem with the right Rolls-Royce Trent 800 engine, and included a thrust asymmetry compensation message that is issued when the flight control computer automatically uses rudder input counter the yaw effects of a failed engine.
Four additional messages were received on departure, followed by two AHM messages after landing.
Flightglobal’s ACAS database shows that the 14-year-old aircraft is owned by Veling and has Trent 884-17 engines, members of the Trent 800 family. As of 31 May, the aircraft had accumulated 61,581 hours and 12,945 cycles, according to ACAS.
Inspection of the aircraft in Dubai revealed “a large section” of the right engine’s inboard fan duct and thrust reverser were missing, starting at the trailing edge and ripping forward.
Overall, officials estimated that 2.8-3.7m2 (30-40ft2) section of engine covering to be missing, along with the primary exhaust nozzle outer skin. The primary nozzle inner skin had been “holed in several locations at the 12 to 1 o’clock position,” the report stated.
External to the engine, the one tyre on the main landing gear “was observed to have a large cut to the sideway” of approximately 36cm (14in), officials said. Examination of the aircraft and engine was to continue but the results have not yet been posted.
The report does not discuss what procedures the Emirates crew followed after hearing the bang and receiving the AHM annunciations or whether the aircraft should have been returned to Domodedovo.