Dutch probe shedding of 747 freighter engine parts over Maastricht

Dutch investigators have opened an initial probe into an incident in which a Boeing 747-400 freighter apparently shed engine parts after departure from Maastricht.

The aircraft had “engine problems” and lost several metal parts after it took off from Maastricht-Aachen airport on 20 February, before diverting to Liege, says the South Limburg arm of safety co-ordination authority Veiligheidsregio.

Metal parts fell in the Sint Josephstraat district of Meerssen, which lies between the city and the airport, about 2km along the extended centreline of runway 21.

While the Dutch Safety Board has not formally identified the aircraft involved, it appears to be a Longtail Aviation 747-400 converted freighter.

The Dutch Safety Board says it has commenced an “exploratory investigation” into the event – a month after it started looking into the shedding of an underside fuselage panel of another 747-400 freighter which had been climbing to cruise altitude over the Netherlands.

South Limburg’s safety authority says the police have requested any debris found to be left alone, and that damage to vehicles or other property should be reported to insurance companies.

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