PICTURE: Arrow Cargo DC-10 sheds large engine parts over Manaus

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Brazilian authorities have identified a McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 freighter which shed a large engine part over the city of Manaus as being from the fleet of Miami-based Arrow Cargo.

The aircraft involved - a 30-year old airframe, serial number 46998 and registered N526MD - lost the part from one of its three General Electric CF6 engines early yesterday shortly after departing on a Manaus-Bogota service.

It took off with a crew of four from Manaus' Eduardo Gomes Airport at 01:46, says a spokesman for the Brazilian defence ministry.

He says the fire department reported to the control tower that a "bang" had been heard during the departure. But he adds: "The tower asked the pilot, who denied there was anything abnormal."

 

Shortly afterwards, however, a large structural component from the rear of the engine fell on a residential area in the district of Terra Nova, north of Manaus, damaging houses and vehicles.

The Manaus area control centre, Cindacta-4, contacted the pilot who then confirmed a problem with one of the engines.

It is unclear which of the three powerplants was affected but the defence ministry has identified the parts as comprising the exhaust diffuser, a section of the exhaust, and a number of small internal components.

No-one on the ground was injured, says the ministry. Despite the incident the pilot opted to continue the flight to Bogota, although the aircraft ultimately diverted to Medellin.

Brazilian investigation agency CENIPA is conducting an inquiry into the event.

Arrow Cargo's parent firm, Arrow Air Holdings, was taken over last year by US investment company MatlinPatterson which has been planning to renew the carrier's ageing DC-10 and DC-8 fleet with Airbus A330 and Boeing 757 aircraft.