An Aer Lingus A330-300 flying to Chicago suffered a rejected takeoff in Dublin yesterday. The pilots opted to reject the takeoff at a low speed soon after passengers reportedly heard a loud bang. While the aircraft moved slightly outside the path, it remained well within the runway and taxied back to the gate on its own. Let’s find out more.
On and off
Aer Lingus flight EI123 from Dublin to Chicago was all set for departure on 5th September, leaving that stand on time at 12:37 PM local time, a few minutes behind schedule. After a 10 minute taxi to the runway, the A330-300 was all set to take off for the eight-hour and 10-minute flight across the Atlantic.
However, things didn’t go according to plan. Just seconds after starting the takeoff roll, the pilots opted to reject the takeoff, bringing the plane to a halt minutes later. Those onboard reportedly heard a loud bang from the right engine, after which pilots stopped the takeoff.
According to AvHerald, the right-hand GE CF6 engine was causing problems, forcing the crew to call for emergency services to inspect the engine while on the runway. After seeing no fire or debris, the A330 made its way back to a stand for passengers to deboard and switch aircraft for their journey to the US. From attempted takeoff to back to the terminal took only 25 minutes, in which time Aer Lingus began finding a replacement A330 to ferry passengers.
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The pilots stopped the takeoff roll at just 35 knots, well below the committed takeoff speed (known as V1) of the A330. The aircraft deviated slightly to the left (as seen in the map below) but remained well within the margins of the runway and returned to the centerline while on its way back to the gate.
It’s unclear what caused the loud bang from the CF6 engine and if the pilots saw any warnings beforehand. For now, the A330-300 remains parked on the ground in Dublin Airport, where it will undergo investigations and repairs.
The aircraft involved in the incident is registered EI-FNG, an Aer Lingus A330-300 delivered new in August 2016. The five-year-old aircraft does not have any safety incidents recorded previously and will now go through extensive checks and repairs before returning to service.
Passengers on EI123 faced a 3 hour and 45 delay as Aer Lingus positioned another A333 (EI-EIN) to carry passengers to Chicago. Due to strict travel restrictions on the EU, only a few eligible passengers can fly to the US currently. EI123 landed in Chicago at 18:23 local time, making up little time during the flight. Expect to see more details about the incident in the coming weeks as investigators release their findings.
Have you ever flown Aer Lingus’ A330? Let us know in the comments.