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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 230435
Last updated: 6 November 2019
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Time:15:50 CST
Type:Silhouette image of generic A333 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Airbus A330-323
Owner/operator:Malaysia Airlines
Registration: 9M-MTM
C/n / msn: 1431
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 255
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Minor
Location:37 km north of Curtin Airfield, WA -   Australia
Phase: En route
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Sydney-Kingsford Smith International Airport, NSW (SYD/YSSY)
Destination airport:Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL/WMKK)
Investigating agency: ATSB
A Malaysia Airlines Airbus A330-323 aircraft, registered 9M-MTM, was operating a scheduled passenger flight designated MH122, from Sydney, New South Wales, to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. On board were two flight crew, 10 cabin crew and 243 passengers.
The aircraft departed Sydney at 13:06 LT and while passing an altitude of about 1,500 ft, the flight crew received an electronic centralised aircraft monitoring (ECAM) exhaust gas temperature (EGT) 1 OVERLIMIT message, which indicated a fault with engine number 1 (left engine). The crew performed the checklist actions and reduced the left engine thrust to maintain the EGT within limits.
The aircraft continued to climb, and the left engine was restored to full climb thrust at flight level (FL) 240. The EGT of the left engine was observed by the crew to be about 70°C higher than the right engine EGT, however it did not exceed its limits during the climb and cruise phase.
About four hours into the flight, while cruising at FL 360 about 37 km north of Curtin Airfield, Western Australia, the crew received an ECAM notification, ENG 1 STALL, with corresponding ‘bang’ sounds heard emanating from the engine on three or four occasions. The engine vibration
monitor indicated significant vibration increases during the engine stalls. The flight crew carried out the ECAM action and thrust was reduced to flight idle. A PAN-PAN call was made and the aircraft turned left and initiated a descent to the single engine flight altitude of FL 240.
During the descent, an attempt was made to restore thrust to the left engine, however this had a corresponding effect of increased vibration. Consequently, the engine thrust was reduced back to flight idle, and the descent was continued to FL 240. The engine was not shut down. The flight crew reviewed the nearest suitable airport to conduct a landing. With the weather at Darwin, Northern Territory (NT), assessed as unsuitable, a decision was made to land at Alice Springs, NT.
During the diversion to Alice Springs, the cabin crew were told to prepare the cabin for an emergency landing. That request was later revised following a reassessment of the situation and several passenger announcements were made to inform passengers to expect a normal landing.
The aircraft landed safely at Alice Springs at 17:46 LT and taxied to the parking apron under its own power.

The left engine, a Pratt & Whitney PW4170, had a third stage outer transition duct (OTD) segment liberation, which created a rise in exhaust gas temperature and significant turbulent airflow within the engine. That in turn led to low pressure turbine blade failure, high vibration and compressor stall/surge events. There have been a total of 16 similar events globally within the 4 years prior that were all attributed to an engine modification, including five involving Malaysia Airlines aircraft. The modification increased the gas path temperature at the outer diameter of the flowpath, which led to distortion and liberation of OTD segments.



Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: ATSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 9 months
Download report: Final report


Photo of 9M-MTM courtesy

Toulouse - Blagnac (LFBO / TLS)
31 July 2013; (c) T.Laurent

Revision history:

06-Nov-2019 08:19 harro Added
06-Nov-2019 08:19 harro Updated [Destination airport]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description