Category: Air Transport

Regional Express grounds further five planes

Monday, 20 Mar 2017 11:54:18 | Gavin Coote

Airline Regional Express has grounded five of its planes that are similar to one that lost a propeller during a flight from Albury to Sydney late last week.

The plane was forced to make an emergency landing after losing one of its propellers mid-air on Friday.

The 16 passengers and three crew members on board were not injured.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is investigating.

Regional Express previously said its SAAB 340B aircraft would continue operating as normal.

But it has now decided to immediately remove and quarantine all propeller gear boxes and shafts of the same series for further inspection.

Regional Express owns 55 SAAB 340B aircraft and is grounding five planes, in addition to the one involved in the incident.

The company said two of the planes were freight carriers and the other three were from the Sydney and Melbourne networks.

It said there could be minor disruptions for the next two days.

Safety a paramount consideration, airline says

Regional Express chief operating officer Neville Howell said safety remained the priority as investigations continued.

"This is an extremely rare event and the one other recorded similar event was in 1991, when US carrier Comair's aircraft also landed safely after a separation of its propeller," Mr Howell said in a statement.

"As there is an ongoing investigation by the ATSB, Rex will leave it to this authority to provide any technical updates it deems appropriate.

"However, we wish to state categorically that all our action and decisions will be taken in strict compliance with the instructions of the various authorities and original equipment manufacturers, and we have safety as our paramount consideration."

The ATSB is yet to find the propeller.


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