Probe launched after parts fall off Boeing 747 cargo plane

AMSTERDAM • An incident involving a Boeing 747-400 cargo plane that dropped engine parts shortly after take-off from Maastricht airport last Saturday is under investigation, the Dutch Safety Board said.

The Longtail Aviation cargo plane scattered mostly small metal parts over the southern Dutch town of Meerssen, causing damage to cars and slightly injuring one woman, local media said.

“Our investigation is still in a preliminary phase. It is too early to draw conclusions,” a Dutch Safety Board spokesman said yesterday.

Witnesses said they saw fire in one of the engines of the plane, which landed safely at Liege airport in Belgium, some 30km south of Maastricht.

The Boeing cargo flight, which was supposed to fly from the Netherlands to New York, used a Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engine, a smaller version of the one on a United Airlines Boeing 777 involved in an incident last Saturday.

Boeing said on Sunday it was recommending airlines halt flights of some older, PW4000-powered versions of its 777 airliner pending engine inspections, after a United 777 suffered an engine fire and scattered debris over Denver, United States, at the weekend.