Two Australian pilots in command of a Cathay Pacific A330-300 are being hailed as heroes after they were able to land at Hong Kong International Airport while experiencing major engine problems.
The A330 was operating flight CX780 from Surabaya on April 13 when one of the engines experienced problems in-flight. The airline says that on approach to landing at Hong Kong, the number two engine was at idle power, while the number one engine was frozen at 70 per cent thrust.
“This is a higher power setting than is required for a normal approach with a single operating engine. Consequently, this higher than normal power setting led to a higher than normal approach speed and incorrect flap configuration,” said Cathay’s manager maintenance support Dennis Hui.
As a result, the aircraft touched down at approximately 230kt, nearly over 100kt faster than the aircraft’s normal landing speed at its operating weight, forcing the pilots to use maximum braking and reverse thrust to bring the aircraft to a halt, with some reports that there was a small brake fire which was extinguished by the airport fire fighting service. Passengers were then evacuated from the aircraft on the runway using the emergency slides, resulting in injuries to eight passengers.
Cathay Pacific, the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department, Rolls-Royce and Airbus are all investigating the incident, and in particular what caused the engine malfunction.