Wednesday, February 27, 2013

► SOUTH AFRICA: Kulula 737 suffers engine failure during take off roll in Cape Town forcing closure of runway; no injuries.

kululaA kulula (MN) Boeing 737-800 (MSN 28612 | ZS-ZWP) operating flight MN104 from Cape Town International to Johannesburg, South Africa, at 15h00L suffered an engine failure during its take off roll. One of Cape Town's two runways was subsequently shut for a brief period to allow for inspection and clearance of any debris.

News reports claim passengers heard a loud bang/explosion just as the aircraft was beginning to accelerate for take off.

According to a press release from kulula:
"MN104, flight departing from Cape Town to Johannesburg, with 6 Crew and 181 passengers, experienced an engine failure at a very low speed, during the initial part of take off. The engine was shut down as per standard operating procedures and the aircraft taxied back to the parking bay without further incident. At no stage was there any danger to our customers and staff."
Source [kulula]

Photos of the damaged 737 turbine
Photos of the damaged kulula  737 turbine
Photos of the damaged 737 turbine (trailblazer)
Airports Company South Africa, the owners of Cape Town International Airport confirmed the incident and stated that ACSA's fire and rescue team was busy doing a sweep of the runway to make sure there was no debris.

No immediate cause has been found at this time, though sources say suspicions point to "a bearing failure on the shaft."