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South Africa grounds 737s after engine falls off

Ben Longden

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November 12, 2007 - 55AM


South African aviation authorities have grounded all Boeing 737 200 aircraft in the country for safety checks after an engine fell off the wing of a plane during takeoff, a statement from the Civil Aviation Authority said.


"This (grounding order) is due to a recent incident on the affected aircraft type, where engine separation from airframe attachment occurred," the statement read.


The order affects all Boeing 737s fitted with Pratt and Whitney JT8D engines. It is aimed at preventing the possibility of a similar accident happening and is not an indication of the cause of the accident, it said.


On Wednesday, a Nationwide airline aircraft carrying 106 passengers had to make an emergency landing after an engine fell off the wing of the plane during takeoff.


Bongani Maseko, Airports Company of South Africa operations director, told South African Broadcasting Corporation radio today they had received directives from the aviation authorities to ground all 737s across South African airports for safety checks.


"All Boeings must go for a check for the mounting of the engines. The aviation have asked that by the end of business today we start helping them to ensure that all of the nationwide aircraft adhere to that," Maseko said.


"The directive also says all the other airlines must have implemented the check for the mounting of the engines by Monday," he added.


Boeing was not immediately available for comment.





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