NTSB: Evidence of soft-body damage on second A320 engine

By David Kaminski-Morrow

Initial visual examination of the newly-recovered left-hand engine from the ditched US Airways Airbus A320 has revealed evidence of soft-body impact damage.

While the assessment showed no immediate sign of organic material, the damage is consistent with the strong indications that the jet suffered a dual loss of engine power from multiple bird strikes.

The left-hand engine was recovered on 23 January, eight days after the A320 ditched in New York's Hudson River.

National Transportation Safety Board investigators state that the engine has dents on the spinner and cowling inlet lip. Five booster inlet guide vanes are fractured and eight outlet guide vanes are missing.

Investigators will use scientific techniques to detect any organic material not immediately apparent - both externally and internally - when both CFM International CFM56s are subjected to a complete strip-down and closer inspection in Cincinnati.

Organic material and soft-body damage have already been discovered on the right-hand engine, but species identification has yet to be completed.

Preparations are being made to ship the wreckage to a secure storage area while the inquiry continues. Both wings of the aircraft will be removed, along with the vertical fin and horizontal stabilisers.

All 155 passengers and crew members survived the accident, which occurred minutes after flight 1549 departed New York LaGuardia for Charlotte.

Copyright © 2009 Aviation News Release

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