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Sat 24 Oct 2009 09:39 AM

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Engine problems may have caused Sharjah plane crash

Investigations into crash which killed all six on board will focus on the plane's four engines.

Engine problems may have caused Sharjah plane crash
PLANE CRASH: A piece of the cargo plane wreckage. Officials say the engines could be at fault. (ITP Images)

Engine difficulties are thought to be the reason why a Sudanese cargo plane crashed killing all six people on board in Sharjah on Wednesday, it has been reported.

According to the National, investigations into the crash, which happened as the plane was taking off from Sharjah International Airport at 3.30pm, will focus on the aircraft’s four engines.

“We are mainly thinking the problem was with the engine, but it doesn’t mean that we aren’t looking at other potential causes like the flight control system,” Saif al Suwaidi, the director of the General Civil Aviation Authority, told the paper.

The Boeing 707-330C, run by the Sudanese cargo firm Azza transport, has been in operation since 1969, while its current engines are believed to be 24 years old, the paper reported.

The engines will be sent abroad for analysis, most likely to the UK. “If we suspect that only one is the cause, then we will just send that one,” al Suwaidi told the paper.

He said it was too early to speculate as to what kind of engine problem might have caused the crash.

The paper reported that a piece of the plane fell from it seconds before it crashed, which was captured by a surveillance video at the airport. Al Suwaidi told the paper it was a piece of engine cover.

This has been recovered as well as the cockpit voice recorder, known as the black box and data records.

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John 9 years ago

The fact that many 40-year-old 707s are still in use, ,mainly as cargo or militiary refuelling planes, is testament to their strength. But the UAE has to get real about the planes it allows to use its airspace. The Gulf airlines have the best and newest planes in the world, but these awful clunkers are still polluting the airways and are incredible potential hazards. If this pilot indeed managed to veer away to crash out of range from buildings and people as reported, so be it. Next time it won't be so easy.

Harry Barracuda 9 years ago

It's also a testament to how people want to make money on the cheap. Many of these aircraft should not even be in the air. The GCC should use the EC's banned list to prevent poorly maintained, old aircraft and poorly run airlines from entering its airspace, before there is a major tragedy.