Video: Passenger Captures Engine Cover Shattering During Takeoff
Okay, just kidding about that cause-effect, but there was some panic among passengers on this TAM Airbus A320, (registration PR-MYP) as it took off this past Saturday.
TAM Flight 3317 was departing Natal, Brazil for Sao Paulo when the cowling doors gave way on its left-hand CFM56 engine. At least one of the doors proceeded to fly into the side of the fuselage about a dozen rows behind the wing.
The flight, with 166 people onboard, circled for about an hour to burn off fuel and made an emergency landing at Natal, according to Aviation Herald. No one was hurt.
While the producer of this video and other passengers believe an engine explosion caused the doors to fly off, it seems more likely to us that the problem was contained to the doors themselves: Either someone failed to latch one or both of the doors properly (and the captain failed to notice during his pre-flight walk-around) or a latch itself failed. Once the first door blew off, the air flow entering the cowling would be strong enough to dislodge the second door.
Being that the plane was delivered just a three weeks ago, fatigue to the doors can probably be ruled out as a factor.
Those cowling doors should be pretty easy to replace, but damage to the fuselage might be a little trickier, depending on how deep those gashes are. We’ll let you know if we find out more.