Fokker 50 props under scrutiny
In response to oil leaks, Dutch civil aviation authorities have instructed operators of Fokker 50 twin turboprops to check the propellers after each flight. The order was issued early last month and Fokker Services is now developing a Service Bulletin that is expected to be issued before year-end.
According to a spokesman for Fokker Services, there have been about half a dozen cases of excessive oil leaks from pumps that control the pitch of the propellers on the
50-seaters’ Pratt & Whitney PW125B engines. He said that the worst case scenario would be that the leaks could cause an engine failure, adding that this has yet to happen in any of the recorded incidents involving aircraft operated by Avianca of Colombia, Malaysian Airlines, Luxembourg’s Luxair and Denim Air of the Netherlands.
Around 200 Fokker 50s remain in service. Production ceased in 1996 after Fokker went bankrupt, at which point Dutch industrial group Stork purchased Fokker Services, the airframer’s support arm.