Engine Fails On BA Jet Twice In A Week

March 4, 2005

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A British Airways Boeing 747-400 was forced to shut down one of its engines in mid-flight twice in one week after a replacement engine failed, the airline said on Friday.

In what BA described as a bizarre coincidence, the number two engine on the 747 flying from Singapore to London was shut down last month after the pilot received an oil pressure warning.

The aircraft, carrying 356 passengers, arrived safely in London after flying for more than 10 hours on three of its four engines. The 747-400 is designed to fly safely on three engines.

The same jet was forced to fly on three engines from Los Angeles to London less than a week earlier after the previous number two engine stopped mid-way into the flight after a fuel surge.

The plane made an emergency landing at Manchester Airport after fuel ran low. The faulty engine was replaced with a new engine fresh off the production line.

"It looks like one of those freaky coincidences. It is perfectly safe to fly on three engines, and the 747 can fly on two engines," a BA spokesman said.

Britain's Civil Aviation Authority said it was monitoring the BA investigation into the incident but said it saw no reason to issue any operational guidance on engine failure to carriers.

"It is not a common event but it happens from time to time," an aviation source said.

BA has rejected any suggestion the decision to fly on only three engines was linked to new rules which force airlines to compensate passengers for major delays.