Russian plane delivers new engine for crippled DHL jet

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A new engine arrived at Owen Roberts International Airport on Monday morning for the DHL Boeing 757 that made an emergency landing on one engine almost three weeks ago, according to an airport representative. 

The DHL flight on Feb. 18 was on its way from Miami to Costa Rica when it started experiencing engine trouble. The plane had to shut down an engine and diverted to Grand Cayman. It landed on one engine, greeted by a full compliment of fire and emergency crews. 

An engine replacement arrived at 8:45 a.m. aboard a Russian-made Ilyushin Il-76, a large, seldom-seen cargo plane, from Miami. The Ilyushin was back in the air on its way to Miami a couple of hours later. 

The plane, owned by Russian air cargo company Volga-Dnepr, is based on a Soviet design from the late 1960s intended to carry heavy payloads to rural areas. The company is the only one to operate this type of plane, according to a release from Volga-Dnepr Airlines.  

Kafara Augustine, with the Cayman Islands Airport Authority, said a team of engineers traveled with the engine. She said they expect the repairs to be done in a couple days, and the DHL plane will be able to take off again. 

Sherman Yates, with the Airport Fire Service, said at the time that the DHL plane had a cargo of flammable resin on board that caused concern if anything went wrong with the landing, but the Boeing 757 landed successfully.  

All told, it was less than 20 minutes from when the airport received the emergency call until the plane was on the ground and emergency crews were told to stand down. 

In addition to the DHL plane, two other planes have made emergency landings at Owens Roberts this year. 

On Jan. 27, a cargo plane had to make an emergency landing and accidentally veered off the runway. The airport runway was shut down for several hours while the plane, owned by IFL Group and contracted by Cayman Airways, was moved. 

On March 3, another cargo plane, also owned by IFL and hired by Cayman Airways, made an emergency landing because of a faulty indicator light and apparent engine problems. 

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A replacement engine for a crippled DHL plane arrives on board a Russian-made Ilyushin Il-76 aircraft at Owen Roberts International Airport on Monday. – PHOTO: TANEOS RAMSAY

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The Ilyushin Il-76 sits on the runway at Owen Roberts International Airport on Monday. – PHOTO: TANEOS RAMSAY
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