Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific denies Facebook rumour of engine shutdown

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 05 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 05 March, 2013, 4:50am

Cathay Pacific has denied that one of its planes experienced an engine shutdown while flying from Japan to Taiwan.

The rumour was posted on Facebook by a user claiming to be one of the 14 cabin crew members on board the Boeing 777-200 carrying 322 passengers.

The post described how the plane suddenly fell silent as the cabin lights went off. The ovens on flight CX 511 from Fukuoka to Taipei also stopped working for 15 seconds on Sunday, when the plane was 11,582 metres in the air. The Facebook user said it felt like "the engines were off".

Within two minutes, the same events happened again, this time for 20 seconds.

The post claimed the cabin manager had heard from the cockpit that the engines had stopped and all power was cut twice. The message said: "Luckily there was backup power ... otherwise I believe this case could have been the worst air disaster for CX and Hong Kong."

Luckily there was backup power ... otherwise I believe this case could have been the worst air disaster for CX and Hong Kong

A Cathay Pacific spokesman yesterday rejected the claim, saying both of the engines on the flight had operated normally throughout the journey and "at no time were passengers or crew in any danger".

He said the flight had encountered a short electrical power interruption due to a technical problem with one of the generators. This caused a brief interruption to power for non-essential systems, such as lighting and inflight entertainment screens.

The case was reported to the Civil Aviation Department.

A department spokesman said it had not recently received any report of an engine shutdown in-flight.

He said it was mandatory for the pilot-in-command and the operator to report an engine shutdown within 96 hours.

Former civil aviation director Peter Lok Kung-nam said the case might be related to a tripped switch, which had cut the electricity supply, or to a problem with the electric circuits. He noted that planes usually had three generators.

Lok said that all the above situations were not major.