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Thursday, 28 May 2015


A Singapore Airlines passenger plane carrying 194 people dropped 13,000ft after both engines lost power in a "huge storm".

The Airbus A330-300 was three and a half hours into its five-hour flight from Singapore to Shanghai when its Rolls-Royce Trent 772 engines failed at 39,000ft.

The pilots managed to restore power by putting the aircraft into a controlled descent to 26,000ft, before climbing again.

SQ836 continued normally to Shanghai and landed at 10.56pm local time on Saturday, Singapore Airlines said.

It said both engines were "thoroughly inspected" and "no anomalies" were detected.

Aviation experts said it was a "very unusual occurrence" for both engines to lose power.

Singapore Airlines, Airbus and Rolls-Royce are investigating the incident.

"We are not able to provide further information, but we can confirm that the same aircraft was used for the return flight," a Singapore Airlines spokesman said.

"Both engines experienced a temporary loss of power and the pilots followed operational procedures to restore normal operation of the engines."

Industry website Flightradar24 said the plane "lost both engines during the cruise" while flying through a "huge storm" in the South China Sea, off China's south coast.

Rolls-Royce said its engines have an "exceptional record of safety and reliability, established over 20 years".

The British manufacturer is working with the airline to provide support and technical assistance, a spokesman said.

Greg Waldron, Asia managing editor of aviation information firm Flightglobal, said the incident was a "very unusual occurrence" that "highlights the requirements of rigorous pilot training".

"Generally these engines are extremely reliable and they work continuously for 13-14 hours a day for months and years," he said.

Passengers appeared not to have posted about the incident on social media, meaning they may have been unaware of the engine problem.

An unnamed pilot with a Southeast Asian airline told Reuters: "We do occasionally lose power in one engine for various reasons, but you hardly ever lose both engines.

"If that happens, you follow the procedures in your checklist and try to restart the engines. The pilots successfully did that here."

Last week, Airbus warned of a technical bug potentially affecting the engines of its A400M military transporters.

It was discovered during an internal test after one crashed in Spain, killing four people.

Singapore Airlines has 29 Airbus A330-300s in its fleet, as well as 19 Airbus A380-800 superjumbos.