An investigation has been launched into a Virgin Australia flight last week after the turbo-prop plane’s engines flamed out on its approach to land at Canberra Airport.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau said the incident involved an ATR-72-flight from Sydney on 13 December at 7 pm.
The aircraft was descending through heavy rain when the right engine flamed out, automatically re-starting within five seconds as it is designed to do. As the descent continued the left engine also flamed out, automatically relighting as before with the right engine.
But for the remainder of the flight and the landing, the crew opted for manual engine ignition.
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The ATSB has deemed the incident as serious and has downloaded the flight data recorder and is gathering other information.
Virgin Australia said the flight landed safely and there was no customer impact.
A spokesperson said the plane was inspected for a couple of days, cleared to fly and was now back in service.
“Safety is always our number one priority and we are assisting the ATSB with their investigation,” the spokesperson said.
The ATR 72 is a twin-engine turboprop, short-haul regional airliner developed and produced in France and Italy by aircraft manufacturer ATR (Aerei da Trasporto Regionale or Avions de transport régional), a joint venture formed by French aerospace company Aérospatiale (now Airbus) and Italian aviation conglomerate Aeritalia (now Leonardo S.p.A.). The number “72” in its name is derived from the aircraft’s standard seating configuration in a passenger-carrying configuration, which could seat 72–78 passengers in a single-class arrangement.