Propellor Issue Causes Czech Airlines ATR Rejected Takeoff

After having looked into a propeller problem that caused Czech Airlines ATR to abort its takeoff back in…

Propellor Issue Causes Czech Airlines ATR Rejected Takeoff

After having looked into a propeller problem that caused Czech Airlines ATR to abort its takeoff back in February, the Czech Republic Air Accidents Investigation Institute (ÚZPLN) reported its findings on Thursday.

The Czech Airlines ATR 72 aborted takeoff after one engine failed to reach takeoff power. Photo: Lumikus1 via Wikmedia

The incident in question involved a CSA ATR-72 twin-engine turboprop at Prague’s Václav Havel Airport (PRG). The aircraft in question was operating as flight number OK-536 from Prague to Frankfurt am Main Airport (FRA) on February 7, 2020, when the incident occurred.

Takeoff aborted as engine failed to reach takeoff power

As the 64-seat short-haul regional aircraft was accelerating for takeoff from Prague Airport’s runway 24, the crew aborted the takeoff at 49 KIAS (Knots Indicated Air Speed) due to the left side engine not reaching takeoff power. The aircraft taxied back to the apron to offload passengers who were then transferred to an Airbus A319-100.

According to the website The Aviation Herald, the replacement aircraft, registration number OK-NEM, arrived in Frankfurt after a delay of two hours and ten minutes.

After having examined the CSA ATR-72 aircraft registration number OK-NFU, investigating authorities reported on April 23 that CSA mechanics had identified a left-hand Propeller Electronic Control failure and immediately replaced the unit.

About the ATR 72

Built by the French/Italian Aerei da Trasporto Regionale or Avions de transport regional (ATR), the ATR-72 is a short-haul regional turboprop airliner built in Italy and France as part of a joint venture between Airbus and Leonardo.

czeck airlines atr 72
Czech Airlines has five ATR 72s. Photo: Lukáš Musil via Wikipedia

The number 72 in the name refers to the plane’s standard seating configuration, which can accommodate between 72 and 78 passengers. With regards to the specific CSA aircraft having had the propeller incident, it is configured with eight business class seats and 56 standard economy seats for a total of 64 seats. According to Planespotters that CSA plane registration number OK-NFU is 12-years-old and has been flying for CSA since March of 2017. The plane is one of five that the Czech airline owns and is currently parked up due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ATR 72 has proven to be popular with airlines around the world due to its ability to operate from short runways, often at high altitudes. Since entering service with Finnair in 1989, the aircraft has undergone improvements to make it not only lighter but a better, all-round more efficient aircraft.

About Czech Airlines

Now referred to as just Czech Airlines after Czechs and Slovaks went their separate ways in 1993 CSA is the national flag carrier of the Czech Republic with a history stretching back 90 years.

Tupolev TU-104A
CSA was the first airline in the world to operate an all-jet route. Photo: Lars Söderström via Wikimedia

The only older airlines that are still operating other than CSA are KLM, Avianca, Qantas, and Aeroflot. CSA was also the first airline in the world to fly a jet-only route in 1957 between Prague and Moscow aboard a Tupolev Tu-104A.

Today the older Soviet-built aircraft have gone with CSA operating a modern fleet of mostly Airbus aircraft and one Boeing 737-800 that is going to be replaced by the Airbus A220-300. Primarily operating flights within Europe, Czech Airlines flies to 27 year-round and five seasonal destinations in 24 countries.

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Embraer Says Boeing “Wrongfully Terminated” Agreement

The plot thickens as now Embraer is saying that Boeing “wrongfully terminated” its agreement with the Brazilian aircraft…

Embraer Says Boeing “Wrongfully Terminated” Agreement

The plot thickens as now Embraer is saying that Boeing “wrongfully terminated” its agreement with the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer and will seek damages. The deal would have seen Boeing and Embraer cooperating on the production and sale of jets in the 100-seat market.

Embraer claims that Boeing wrongfully terminated the MTA. Photo: Simple Flying

Embraer claims Boeing wrongfully terminated the agreement

In the wake of Boeing’s announcement that it had terminated its Master Transaction Agreement (MTA) with Embraer, the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer released its own statement claiming that the termination was wrongful. Using strong language, Embraer claims that Boeing “manufactured false claims” in order to avoid paying the $4.2 billion purchase price.

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Boeing and Embraer are in contention over the termination of the MTA. Photo: Getty Images.

That wasn’t all. Embraer went even further to claim that Boeing has “engaged in a systematic pattern of delay and repeated violations of the MTA.” And, to explain why Boeing had done this, Embraer claims it was because of the American manufacturer’s financial condition and 737 MAX woes.

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Embraer claims that Boeing’s financial woes and the 737 MAX led to this termination. Photo: Getty Images

Whereas Boeing claims that Embraer had not met certain conditions while declining to provide further details on the unfulfilled obligations, Embraer claims the opposite saying that it was in compliance with the deal and had fulfilled all requirements by the deadline of April 24th.

That was not all. Moving forward, Embraer plans to “pursue all remedies” for damages due to the termination of the MTA.

So….what happened?

To boil the argument down, the two sides are at odds over whether or not the termination of the MTA requires Boeing to pay any damages to Embraer. While Boeing does not believe that any termination fee applies to this deal, Embraer says otherwise and is claiming that it has been wronged. It does not appear that either side is ready to return to the table and seal the deal.

Embraer claims that Boeing manufactured false claims. Photo: Getty Images

Neither side offered further details as to the conditions that either were or were not met. But, this does raise some questions about the end of this deal.

Boeing is trying to cut costs and conserve cash amid a global aviation downturn. In addition, costs from the MAX grounding are weighing heavily on the manufacturer.

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The 737 MAX grounding has resulted in substantial costs for Boeing. Photo: Getty Images

However, Boeing is also engaged in a major battle with Airbus for global dominance. With the A220, Airbus has an opening into the 100-seat market, while Boeing’s 737 MAX is just a little too big. This deal with Embraer would have given the Chicago-based manufacturer the chance to get its foot in that market as well. Terminating this deal would effectively mean that Boeing is pulling out of this market altogether. This would be a change in tune from the manufacturer, which is known for an aggressive team that mounts serious competition to Airbus.

Embraer’s E95-E2 can compete with the A220. Photo: Simple Flying

This agreement first came about in 2018– months before the 737 MAX crisis started. At the time, the MAX was one of Boeing’s most profitable aircraft lines, the 787 was still selling quite well, and the company was looking to the future with the 777X and potential new airplane lines.

What will happen next?

It would be better for Boeing and Embraer to settle this matter out of court. However, if Embraer believes that it is owed a significant sum from Boeing in damages, then a protracted legal battle could be in the future.

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A protracted legal battle could be in the future. Photo: Getty Images.

But, a court case would have its drawbacks. Both sides would end up airing their dirty laundry, and it could negatively impact a manufacturer’s reputation– depending on which company gets a favorable outcome. These battles could also end up costing more than a settlement.

What do you think happened with this deal? Which side do you think was right? Let us know in the comments!

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