After the unforgettable and tragic incident of the PIA (PK-661) plane crash, ATR planes have become the ‘talk of the town’ with their faulty parts and numerous accidents. A shakedown test was taken to which all ATR flight operations were stalled.
Many PIA employees claimed to be threatened when they wished to come out and file their complaints regarding the faulty planes and the risk of flying them.
On account of the shakedown test conducted by the Civil Aviation Authotrity (CAA), all faulty parts of the ATR planes were inspected with all internal conditions fully examined. With the completion of the inspection, CAA sent an official notice to PIA.
CAA Deputy Director General Nadeem Sharif Pasha stated that “significant observations” were made when the technical records of all aircraft were reviewed.
According to the notice, “The results of audits conducted by airworthiness field offices are indicating shortcomings in maintenance, quality assurance and Airworthiness Management System of PIAC.”
“The analysis of data is reflecting an alarming trend of engine failures due to HPT blades, main bearings, surging and oil system issues,” said the CAA notice to PIA.
The notice further stated that the aircraft were set to operate in 2007, experiencing six in-flight shutdowns in four years. The airline, therefore reduced the life of hot section components to 5,000 FHrs (flight hours), depending on the stability of the engines.
“Even after the adoption of program for replacement of HPT blades at 5,000 FHrs, the critical issue of in-flight shutdowns could not be controlled,” added the notice.
“As per data of premature failure of PW 127 engines, PIAC has 20 incidents of in-flight shutdowns due to HPT blades failures.”
The notice added that the total cases of scheduled and unscheduled engine failures were 90, out of which most were attributed to core engine components failure.