An Air Tanzania flight has been forced to return to its origin airport following an engine failure. Flight TC 123 from Mwanza to Dar es Salaam suffered the engine problem shortly after takeoff, having climbed to an altitude in the region of 7,500 feet.
According to ATC News, pilots aboard the Airbus A220 decided to immediately return it to the origin airport as the nearest point of landing, once the engine failure was discovered. The Air Tanzania aircraft landed safely, without any problems for those on board, but officials have indicated that it will remain grounded in order for its engine to be replaced.
The incident may serve as an alert for airspace authorities after the FAA issued an Airworthiness Directive regarding several similar engine failures among the Pratt & Whitney geared turbofan engine. The FAA notice proposes that PW1500G and PW1900G engines should be inspected particularly closely, while the gap between the fuel supply of the engine and the fuel oil cooler should also be attended to with greater regularity.
Many operators of this type of engine had already begun exchanging the fuel oil cooler and the supply tube for superior components, in order to comply with service guidelines set out by the manufacturer. Pratt & Whitney has issued a service bulletin intended to address the issue.
Air Tanzania has become particularly associated with the A220 in recent months, despite only having two A220-300 aircraft in service. Nonetheless, the carrier will double its quantity of A220 jetliners in 2021, when two more will be delivered to the African airline.
It was only in December last year that air Tanzania became the first African airline to take delivery of an Airbus A220-300. In fact, at that time only five airlines worldwide were operating the A220. The order at that time was valued at around $200 million.
But the airline has also experienced difficulties with the Airbus A220 since the initial order took place. Authorities in South Africa impounded one of the carrier’s A220 aircraft back in August. The issue arose because Air Tanzania owed the South African Airways airline money at that time, with reports indicating that a loan had been made to the company worth $4.1 million.
However, the issue was quickly resolved when the Gauteng Lower Division Court in Johannesburg ordered the release of the aircraft.
In recent weeks, as Air Tanzania looks to extend its operation, it was reported that the carrier has secured three landing slots for London’s Gatwick Airport. As a result of this agreement, Air Tanzania will serve London directly from its hub at Dar es Salaam, via Kilimanjaro. Weekly flights to Gatwick will take place on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.