An official source for Portuguese airline TAP has refuted any connection between the two-hour ordeal suffered yesterday by 177 passengers as a 22-year-old airbus prepared for an emergency landing in Lisbon, and the fact that the plane had had its life-extended despite having flown beyond the statutory 101,000 hours. The fault suffered in the engine “could have happened in any plane”, said the source,
stressing that the airline’s elderly airbuses servicing routes between Lisbon and Brazil “guarantee all the requirements of aeronavigability”.
Needless to say, European aviation safety agency EASA, is keen to make sure. The A340-300 plane involved in yesterday’s dramatic fuel-dumping manoeuvres over the coast between Almada and Estoril is one of four now under investigation.
The planes’ flying lives were extended last summer by civil aviation authority ANAC, which waived the obligation for them to be upgraded in order to keep flying another 55,000 hours, reports Correio da Manhã.