General Electric is investigating engine fires on CF6 and CFM International CFM56-7 engines that occurred within days of each other in the USA. It is also probing the cause of an inflight shutdown of a GE90 in mid-Atlantic.

An American Airlines Airbus Industrie A300-600R suffered a fire in its No 1 engine, a CF6-80C2, after take-off from San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Miami, Florida, on 9 July. GE says it is too early to know what caused the fire, but the aircraft returned safely to San Juan. The fire was extinguished on the ground.

The latest CFM56-7 incident took place as a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700 was approaching Birmingham, Alabama, on a flight from Tampa, Florida, on 8 July. A compressor fire started but then went out without the use of the engine fire-extinguishing system when the engine was shut down, says Southwest.

Leaking fuel is one possible cause being investigated by GE.

The latest CFM56-7 incident was not related to the US Federal Aviation Administration airworthiness directive (AD) issued after two inflight shutdowns occurred on 26 June. The AD calls for inspection of CFM56-7B accessory gearboxes and starter shaft spur gears that were found to be the cause of the problems.

CFM says that the AD, which is also linked to a similar problem affecting CFM56-3s powering earlier 737-300/400/500 models, covers more than 500 engines.

GE says investigations are also continuing into the cause of an in-flight shutdown of a GE90 powering a newly delivered Air France Boeing 777-200 on a flight from Sao Paulo, Brazil, to Paris. The crew shut down the engine following an oil loss indication in mid-Atlantic when the 777 was 6h into the 1 July flight. The aircraft was diverted to Tenerife. GE says a failure of the sump pump is suspected.

The incident prompted France's civil aviation authority to reduce the extended-range twin operations approval for GE90-powered 777s from 180min to 120min.

Source: Flight International