An Asiana Airlines Airbus A380 suffered an engine failure flying between Los Angeles and Seoul. The incident happened above the Pacific Ocean on 11th July. Thankfully, the aircraft was able to continue to Seoul without incident.
Unfortunately, engine failures can occasionally occur. However, with four engines, as was proven in this incident, it is not the end of the world if one is lost. While sometimes aircraft would divert given such an event, there are very few options for diversions when you’re above the world’s largest ocean. As such, the aircraft continued to its destination where it landed without incident.
The flight details
On the 10th July, Asiana Airlines flight OZ201 departed Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) at around 12:56 local time. The aircraft departed a quarter of an hour later than its scheduled departure time of 12:40. Around seven hours into the flight, the pilots noticed a problem with the aircraft’s number three engine, according to the Aviation Herald. This is the right-hand engine nearest the aircraft’s fuselage.
The aircraft was flying at flight level 340 when the incident occurred. It has been reported that the engine experienced an oil leak. To deal with the engine failure, the pilots decided to cut the engine. Following the engine’s shut down, the crew descended to FL320.
According to AirFleets.net, the Airbus A380 involved is 5.6 years old. HL7625 was delivered to Asiana Airlines during May 2014, however, it took its first flight during December 2013. The aircraft is equipped with four Rolls Royce Trent 970 engines.
Why didn’t the flight divert?
The flight continued onto its destination as planned despite the engine failure. The aircraft flew right over Japan, which has Airbus A380 capacity given ANA’s Flying Honu aircraft. Instead of diverting, as we’ve previously seen with an Air France A380, the aircraft continued onto its destination.
The Airbus A380 can safely be flown on three engines, although it is not preferable. By continuing to Seoul, Asiana Air would’ve been able to access its in house mechanics. Had the aircraft diverted, it would’ve used third-party mechanics who may not have the relevant part to hand. It is possible that the passengers on board the aircraft wouldn’t have even noticed a problem.
A past example
A great example of a four-engine aircraft’s ability to fly on three engines involves a British Airways Boeing 747. On February 20th, 2005, G-BNLG was flying between Los Angeles and London. The aircraft suffered an engine failure on takeoff from Los Angles. Air Trafic Controllers expected the aircraft to return to its point of departure, however, the airline didn’t want to waste fuel.
British Airways’ Boeing 747 flew to the United Kingdom on three engines. Eventually, the aircraft declared an emergency above the UK and diverted to Manchester Airport. The FAA was not happy with BA’s decision, however, decided to respect the CAA’s decision that the aircraft was airworthy.
Have you been on an aircraft that has lost an engine? Let us know in the comments!