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GE CF-6 problems

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posted on Jun, 19 2006 @ 05:51 PM
The FAA thought that the uncontained engine failure problem for the GE CF-6 was fixed in 2003, however, another failure this month in Los Angeles nearly destroyed an American Airlines 767. The first engine failure was United 232 in July 1989 that eventually crashed in Sioux City Iowa killing 111. Another occured on a USAirways 767 in September 2000 during a maintenance run. A third occured on an Air New Zealand flight from Auckland to Brisbane. The flight was at 11,000 feet at the time of the incident.

All of the engines were built between 1982 and 2000 by GE. All of them involved an inner turbine disk failing and exploding out the side of the engine. Depending on where the parts break out of the engine the results can be anything from simply destroying the engine, to ripping into the wing and fuel tanks, or even ripping through the passenger cabin.

WASHINGTON, June 18 — Federal investigators say they are deeply concerned about an engine break-up that nearly destroyed a Boeing 767 on the ground in Los Angeles this month because the failure may indicate a recurrence of a problem they thought they had eliminated in 2003.

American Airlines mechanics were testing the engine on June 2 , after the crew of an earlier flight had reported it was not performing properly. During the test, an internal disk came apart, slicing open a fuel tank in the left wing; the fuel spilled onto the ground, where it caught fire. One piece of metal was thrown more than half a mile from the plane.

There were no injuries, and under the rules of the National Transportation Safety Board the event might not even qualify as an accident because there was no intention to fly the plane. But experts say that such "uncontained failures," so called because the engine cowling does not hold in the debris, resemble a roulette game.

posted on Jun, 19 2006 @ 05:59 PM
I read about this last week, it was a fairly bad week for the CF6-80 as a Qatar Airways A330-200 suffered a double flame out on descent into shanghai airport, a GE team is inestigating it. The CF6-80 has suffered 8 dual flame outs in the past but this is the first one on an A330. This engine has been in use for 21 years though so it is hardly a calamitous event (unless it happens to you of course

This particular A330 managed to restert its engines within a minute and land safely but it was publicity GE could have done without after the uncontained failure that you mentioned.

posted on Jun, 19 2006 @ 06:05 PM
Yeah, I seriously doubt that this is going to be some huge thing that's going to majorly hurt GE, especially considering how reliable their engines have been over the years. But it is definately a concern between flameouts and uncontained failures. Eight flameouts, and four uncontained failures is hardly a huge number, like you said unless it happens to you, considering the number of CF6 engines out there, but I think they definately need to do something about it. It'll be interesting to see if we can find out what the fix is going to be. Especially about the flameout problem. I'd appreciate it if you can see if you can find out anything more about what they think caused that. I don't have access to your sources (but god I'd love to have it).

posted on Jun, 19 2006 @ 06:18 PM
The last thing I saw said that GE were declining to comment on the possible causes, but also noted that "investigations are thought top be focussed on potential ice accumulation due to the weather, related effects on the FADEC and the potential for fuel nozzle ice contamination".

WRT the 767 engine failure, it is believed that the 19 year old 767 was running its engines at 90% power when either the shaft or the HPT area ruptured. A fuel tank was ruptured and the wing was engulfed in flames, the damage cause by all of this is likely to lead to the aircraft being written off.

Here's a couple of pictures of the aftermath but they aren't of great quality;

posted on Jun, 19 2006 @ 07:22 PM
You always forget how much force is on these engines at power until you see pics like that.

As far as the weather, I can relate. We had three B-1Bs that had to change fan blades, because they were climbing out in bad weather and iced up the intakes. When they could finally turn the de-icing on they ate the ice right down the engines.

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