GE, Pratt & Whitney probe cause of Emirates Air engine failure

NEW YORK Mon Nov 12, 2012 2:57pm EST

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Jet engine makers General Electric (GE.N) and Pratt & Whitney said Monday they are investigating what caused one of their jointly made engines to fail on an Airbus EAD.PA jet being flown by Emirates Airline EMIRA.UL on Sunday.

The companies through a joint venture known as the Engine Alliance produced the GP7200 engines on the A380 jet that left Sydney for Dubai Sunday but was forced to return to Australia after one of its four engines failed soon after takeoff.

"The Engine Alliance is investigating root cause of the engine event and will initiate prompt corrective action," both companies said in a statement. Pratt & Whitney is a unit of United Technologies(UTX.N).

The aircraft, with 380 passengers on board, was just 20 minutes into its flight from Sydney to Dubai and climbing at an altitude of 10,000 feet when it experienced a problem with one of its four engines. Some passengers said the superjumbo jet experienced a "judder" and that they saw flames shooting several meters out of one of the engines.

Emirates later said there was no fire although passengers may have seen a flash. The Dubai-based carrier apologized for the incident and said it, too, was investigating.

The Engine Alliance said the GP7200 entered service in August 2008 and has since logged more than 1 million flight hours on A380s at Air France, Emirates and Korean Airlines. In that time, the engine has shown excellent reliability, the companies said, adding that they are committed to maintaining those standards.

(Reporting by Alwyn Scott; editing by Andrew Hay)