Boeing 787 Engine Part Smashes Car Window In Italy

Today, Italian news outlet Corriere Della Sera is reporting an incident involving a Norwegian Boeing 787. The aircraft took off from Rome’s Fiumicino airport bound for Los Angeles as flight DY7115. Shortly after take-off, the aircraft suffered a “motor failure” and had to circle back to land again at Fiumicino. The most shocking part was that falling debris from the incident caused damage to the roofs of cars and houses in the area of Isola Sacra. There was even a report of someone becoming slightly burned.

Norwegian 787
Norwegian currently operates a fleet of over 150 aircraft. Photo: Norwegian

The flight, with 298 passengers on board, could have caused more damage and serious injuries. According to the Italian press, the falling debris was close to a town center as well as the crowded beaches of the Roman coast.

Event details

On this pleasant summer day, residents of Isola Sacra experienced a “rain of incandescent metal fragments” falling to the ground from about 400 meters. The source of these metal fragments was the left engine of a Norwegian Airlines Boeing 787 that had just taken off from Leonardo Da Vinci airport headed for Los Angeles.

Alarms were triggered almost immediately according to sources. At 16:20, emergency vehicles appeared both at the runway as well as at Isola Sacra, where residents were surprised by the falling pieces of metal. The debris was found to have broken through the windows of parked cars and hit the tiles on top of buildings.

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The pilot declared an emergency landing and, after having dumped fuel, returned back to the Fiumicino airport for technical checks.

The flight path of DY7115. Photo: FlightRadar24

The fragments – about 5-10 centimeters in size – landed north of the road Ernesto Cabruna. Some residents collected them in the street and on the balconies of the houses. The mayor of Fiumicino, Esterino Montino made the following statement (translated from Italian):

“It is time to take action…this incident shows that the overflights on houses between Fregene and Isola Sacra are dangerous…We need to review the agreements that provide for the use of that track that was built when the areas around the airport were already inhabited and not vice versa”.

The area of Isola Sacra in relation to Rome Fiumicino Airport.

Authorities investigating

Italy’s ANSV, the National Agency for Flight Safety (L’Agenzia Nazionale per la Sicurezza del Volo) has opened an investigation on the incident. Inspectors were sent to examine the engine of the aircraft and also to the area where there was ground damage. Sources say that checks could now take place on engines of the same type. Furthermore, there will be checks on maintenance procedures.

The aircraft

According to Airfleets, LN-LND is a 5.5-year-old Boeing 787-8 leased from AerCap. Prior to this incident, the aircraft had made trips in and out of Rome from the American cities of Boston and Oakland.

Norwegian is just one of the airlines that has had issues with its 787s and their Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines. 787s can have either the Trent 1000 or GEnx engines. In this case, we can confirm that this aircraft had the problematic Trent 1000s.

Norwegian’s 787 aircraft use the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines. Photo: Norwegian

Official responses from Norwegian & Rolls-Royce

A Norwegian spokesperson said,

“Flight DY7115 from Rome Fiumicino (FCO) to Los Angeles (LAX) experienced a technical issue a few minutes after take-off this afternoon. The aircraft returned to the airport where it landed safely.

“All 298 passengers on board the flight are being taken care of in the terminal by our handling agent and the airport.

“The safety of our customers and crew is always our main priority. We are actively working with Aeroporti di Roma and the Italian authorities in the investigation. Because of this, we cannot comment any further on the specific aspects of this event.”

A spokesperson from Rolls-Royce said,

“We are aware of the event and are working with our customer to provide support and technical assistance.”

11 comments
  1. RR again ?

    We need to recall all engine from RR manufacture… it start to be annoying with this behaviours… It is not the first time… and Aircraft manufacturers and Airliners are depending to much of RR lack of performance… Is it a BREXIT issue ?

    Grettings from Arlanda Stockholm

    1. It’s currently only the RR engines for the 787 that are giving problems…other RR engines seem to be OK (for now!).
      This is such a serious incident that it wouldn’t surprise me if it leads to a partial grounding; hopefully RR have sufficient spare engines to enable quick swaps for affected aircraft…otherwise the consequences will be horrendous.
      Operators like Air New Zealand in particular have had a very raw deal with these RR problems 🙁

    2. As regards Brexit: outside of Britain, RR also have engine manufacturing facilities in Germany and Singapore (and also the US?). So, if the “sh** hits the fan”, at least they have some presence outside the UK, and even a plant in the EU.

  2. The writer of this article did his best make it sound like Boeing had the problem here. It was not until the very end of the article that he mentioned that it was another Rolls Royce Trent engine that fell apart. Keep in mind, that in the case of the 787, the airlines had a choice of engines between GE and Rolls Royce. The Trent has proven to be junk. Fortunately, 80% choose GE. The headline should have read “ANOTHER ROLLS ROYCE ENGINE FALLS APART IN ITALY.

  3. RR has had a massive failure on 3 engines (acutraly 4)

    The RR is a Trent 1000. The Trent 1000 TEN has the same issues. The RR7000 is derived from the Trenta 100 Ten and it just has not had enough service tro show up yet (it was late)

    Also reports of Fan problems on the Trent 800 that was vaunted to replace the GP7000 on Emirates. That engine miraculously gained 7% fuel efficient according to Timk Clark CEO of Emirates (that is impossible by thue way) RR pushed that engine hard to get any increase as the GP had a 2 to 3% better. It has all sort of problems.

    RR has insisted its 3 spool is much better than a two spool engine but clearly that was not this generation which GE has suproased RR with two spools on the 787 and the A380 (well Prattt bieng paret of GP)

    RR had to take the unprecedented move to replace the Trent 1000 (the Ten is 75% new)

    Did they do the XWB right? So far but keep in mind the 1000 got 5 years into it before they realized it had issues and its just getting worse.

  4. As if GE aren’t secretly looking at this and wondering how much their share price can go up! GE engines are historically way more maintenance friendly and have MRO facilities all around the globe, for the convenience of it why wouldn’t it be 100% GENX engines

  5. Well New Zealand loyal followed the Brits up until the last order and have changed to the GE on the current 787 Orders.

    A number of orders are not committed yet but you can bet they are going to go GE.

    RR has ensured they have a niche on the 787 clinging on by the finger tips.

    Interesting will be to see if someone changes the engines on a built one as that was designed in.

    Its unfathomable how RR could have fallen so far.

    1. Indeed! But remember that, after Brexit, all will be well, and Britain — under King Boris the Dragonslayer — will rule the world again! 😉
      * Chuckle *

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