`Cathay Pacific plane had contaminated fuel`

The Airways aircraft had made an emergency landing in Hong Kong in April.

Hong Kong: A Cathay Pacific Airways aircraft that made an emergency landing in Hong Kong in April after both of its engines malfunctioned was found to have contaminated fuel, Hong Kong`s aviation department has said.

The Civil Aviation Department said in its accident bulletin yesterday that investigators found "fine spherical particles" in the fuel and engine parts of the Airbus A330-342 aircraft in question.

The tires of Flight CX780 from Surabaya in Indonesia caught fire when it landed at Hong Kong International Airport on April 13 while encountering engine problems.

"No faults or failures have so far been observed with any of the removed components, other than those associated with the contamination by the spheres," the bulletin said.

It said the abnormal engine performance during the flight was believed to have been caused by "stiction and eventual seizure" of the main metering valves of the fuel metering units of both engines.

The bulletin said that although the exact source of the external fuel contaminants remains unknown.

"Examination and analysis indicated that those spheres could not have been generated from within the aircraft airframe or engine systems," it said.

But it said investigators found problems with "re-commissioning procedures of hydrant refuel system" at Indonesia`s Juanda International Airport, where the Airbus plane was refuelled.

Those procedures were not in line with guidelines and practices commonly used by aviation fuel industry, it said, while recommending that Indonesian air safety officials conduct an extensive review of them.


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