Engine problem just one possible scenario in Schiphol crash: investigators

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Dutch investigators insist that engine problems are just one of a number of possibilities under consideration in their probe into yesterday's Turkish Airlines Boeing 737-800 accident at Amsterdam.

While Dutch Safety Board chairman Pieter van Vollenhoven has been cited as suggesting that some kind of failure occurred in the CFM International CFM56 powerplants, a spokeswoman for the board says the remarks have been taken out of context.

Initial evidence from the scene of the accident indicates that the aircraft had low forward speed at the point of impact, and the spokeswoman says this naturally raises queries about whether the engines were functioning properly.

"But this is just one of the possibilities we are considering," she states, adding that the flight recorders are still being examined and investigators expect to know more after the weekend.

Flight TK1951 came down on approach to Amsterdam Schiphol's runway 18R, killing nine of the 134 passengers and crew, including both pilots.

Turkish Airlines says the 737 underwent an A-check on 19 February and a C-check on 22 October. It has clarified the maintenance record of the aircraft after reports emerged centred on routine work undertaken on the jet.

This work included a recent part replacement following a malfunction of the master caution indicator in Madrid. Turkish Airlines points out that the aircraft subsequently performed eight flights.

It also says that work on the aircraft's leading-edge Krueger flaps - comprising replacement of an electrical-conductivity component known as a bonding jumper - was not performed recently, but on 28 October last year.

"All the maintenance work of the aircraft has been executed according to its scheduled programme," says the airline, adding that it has become "an absolute necessity" to clarify the work record.

This work was all performed in line with "appropriate procedures", it adds, stating that the jet operated for 52hr following its last check.