After having looked into a propeller problem that caused Czech Airlines ATR to abort its takeoff back in February, the Czech Republic Air Accidents Investigation Institute (ÚZPLN) reported its findings on Thursday.
The incident in question involved a CSA ATR-72 twin-engine turboprop at Prague’s Václav Havel Airport (PRG). The aircraft in question was operating as flight number OK-536 from Prague to Frankfurt am Main Airport (FRA) on February 7, 2020, when the incident occurred.
Takeoff aborted as engine failed to reach takeoff power
As the 64-seat short-haul regional aircraft was accelerating for takeoff from Prague Airport’s runway 24, the crew aborted the takeoff at 49 KIAS (Knots Indicated Air Speed) due to the left side engine not reaching takeoff power. The aircraft taxied back to the apron to offload passengers who were then transferred to an Airbus A319-100.
According to the website The Aviation Herald, the replacement aircraft, registration number OK-NEM, arrived in Frankfurt after a delay of two hours and ten minutes.
After having examined the CSA ATR-72 aircraft registration number OK-NFU, investigating authorities reported on April 23 that CSA mechanics had identified a left-hand Propeller Electronic Control failure and immediately replaced the unit.
About the ATR 72
Built by the French/Italian Aerei da Trasporto Regionale or Avions de transport regional (ATR), the ATR-72 is a short-haul regional turboprop airliner built in Italy and France as part of a joint venture between Airbus and Leonardo.
The number 72 in the name refers to the plane’s standard seating configuration, which can accommodate between 72 and 78 passengers. With regards to the specific CSA aircraft having had the propeller incident, it is configured with eight business class seats and 56 standard economy seats for a total of 64 seats. According to Planespotters that CSA plane registration number OK-NFU is 12-years-old and has been flying for CSA since March of 2017. The plane is one of five that the Czech airline owns and is currently parked up due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ATR 72 has proven to be popular with airlines around the world due to its ability to operate from short runways, often at high altitudes. Since entering service with Finnair in 1989, the aircraft has undergone improvements to make it not only lighter but a better, all-round more efficient aircraft.
About Czech Airlines
Now referred to as just Czech Airlines after Czechs and Slovaks went their separate ways in 1993 CSA is the national flag carrier of the Czech Republic with a history stretching back 90 years.
The only older airlines that are still operating other than CSA are KLM, Avianca, Qantas, and Aeroflot. CSA was also the first airline in the world to fly a jet-only route in 1957 between Prague and Moscow aboard a Tupolev Tu-104A.
Today the older Soviet-built aircraft have gone with CSA operating a modern fleet of mostly Airbus aircraft and one Boeing 737-800 that is going to be replaced by the Airbus A220-300. Primarily operating flights within Europe, Czech Airlines flies to 27 year-round and five seasonal destinations in 24 countries.