Sixty-nine passengers and 10 crew were stranded in Siberia on Sunday after their plane diverted to Krasnojarsk with engine issues. The All Nippon Airways (ANA) Boeing 787-9 was flying from Tokyo to Frankfurt in the early hours of Sunday morning when trouble struck.
Alerts for low-oil levels saw Dreamliner diverted
According to a report in The Aviation Herald, the Boeing 787-9 (registration JA872A) was flying from Tokyo Haneda to Frankfurt. The flight, NH203, had departed Haneda just after midnight on Sunday, April 4.
Flight tracking website RadarBox.com has the flight heading north over the Sea of Japan, crossing the Russian coastline to the north of Теrney. Cruising at around 36,000 feet, the Dreamliner overflew Khabarovsk and was east of the Zeya Reservoir when the pilots had to shut down the left-hand Trent 1000 engine.
At this point, the plane was over 1,400 kilometers northeast of Krasnojarsk. The Aviation Herald says the pilots received indications of low oil quantity and subsequently low oil pressure for the left-hand engine. Over two hours later, nearly eight hours after taking off, the Boeing 787-9 touched down safely in Krasnojarsk.
JA872A, one of ANA’s 74 Dreamliners, has flown for the airline since August 2015. This is the first recorded incident for the plane.
Trent 1000 engine issues a recurring problem for the 787 Dreamliner
The Trent 1000 engine, designed and developed by Rolls-Royce, has caused some significant problems for Boeing and its Dreamliner program over the last half-decade. The root cause of the problem was potential turbine blade cracking that was caused by sulphurization.
Fixing that problem has cost Rolls-Royce around US$1 billion. It also saw scores of Dreamliners grounded, and cast a pall over the reputations of both the engine maker and the planemaker.
But the problems kept coming for the Trent 1000 engine. Last year, Simple Flying reported another issue had arisen. Rubbing wear, which could lead to the low-pressure turbine disc cracks, had EASA on the case.
Additional issues arising at Boeing’s 787 manufacturing plants have also hit the Dreamliner program hard. Recently, Boeing has curtailed deliveries on the Dreamliners, only now beginning to tentatively resume them.
Boeing’s Dreamliner remains a hit with customer airlines
But the Trent 1000 issues and problems at the Boeing plants haven’t been enough to hamper the aircraft’s popularity with airlines such as ANA. Airlines like the range, the fuel efficiencies, and the agility of the Dreamliner. Over the last decade, the plane has become an integral part of the fleet at many airlines.
Since first flying the 787 Dreamliner in 2011, ANA has had several minor engine issues with its Dreamliner fleet. None were related to potential turbine blade cracking issues. Rather, all were typical of the standard red flags and alerts all airlines have to deal with across all aircraft types.
Meanwhile, The Aviation Herald reports it was a long and chilly Sunday for the ANA passengers and crew stranded in Krasnojarsk. On Sunday afternoon, ANA sent another Dreamliner up to Krasnojarsk to pick everyone up. It landed around 17:30 local time. After three hours on the ground, that plane took off for Frankfurt. It landed in Germany safely late on Sunday evening.