Uni Air’s ‘mayday’ call in line with procedures: CAA
The Civil Aviation Administration (CAA) said Friday that the captain of a Uni Air ( ) plane acted according to standard operation procedures when he shut down an engine and called “mayday” shortly after taking off in Taipei.
The MD-90 took off from Taipei Songshan Airport for the outlying island of Kinmen at 7:03 a.m., but the captain noticed that the temperature of the right engine had reached an abnormally high 928 degrees Celsius when the plane reached an altitude of 4,500 feet.
To prevent the engine from fur- ther damage, the captain manually shut down the right engine as a precaution and called “mayday” three times before returning to Taipei Songshan Airport at 7:29 a.m.
The 151 passengers later boarded an Airbus A321 that took off at 10:15 a.m. and landed in Kinmen at 11:43 a.m.
Lin Chun-liang, a division chief of the CAA, said the captain found the temperature of the right engine reached an alarming level shortly after take-off and shut down the engine as a precaution and called “mayday” to air traffic controllers to obtain priority landing rights, in line with standard procedures.
Thomas Wang, the chief executive of the Flight Safety Council, said that when a pilot needs urgent assistance, he can call “mayday” to get the fastest response.
Because only one engine was left for normal operation, it was best to land as quickly as possible to ensure safety, said Wang, who described the captain’s approach as a “normal procedure.”
The CAA said it demanded that Uni Air replace the plane’s engine before the MD-90 could take off again.
In addition, the CAA will investigate the cause of the incident based on interviews with crew members and information from the voice data recorder and flight data recorder.
An inspection of the plane found metal filings on the engine’s tail pipe, and the CAA felt they were the result of damage during the engine’s operation and was not a pre-flight inspection problem.
The CAA said the last time the plane was inspected was on May 10. The right engine, an IAV E2500 D5 type, was installed on Oct. 18, 2013 and had flown 3,864 hours.