Qatar’s route from Doha to Auckland was once the longest in the world. However, yesterday it became one of the carrier’s shortest. Flight QR920 was forced to return to Doha after dumping fuel. The reason was reportedly down to a hole in the engine’s cowling appearing after takeoff.
While problems with engines do happen, given how many flights safely operate each day they can catch our eye. In this case, a Boeing 777 was forced to return to Doha with engine troubles. A passenger who was on the flight reports that a hole developed in the engine which was 40cm in circumference.
Qatar flight QR920 is one of the worlds longest, with a duration of 16-hours and 45-minutes travelling from Doha to Aukland. The flight has a distance of just over 9,000 miles as the crow flies. The route is operated by a Boeing 777 and, on Sundays, leaves Doha at 03:00 in the morning. Following the 16-hour 45-minute flight, it is scheduled to touch down at 04:45 the next day in Auckland.
Yesterday (11th of August 2019), however, the flight was slightly different. After departure, the captain noticed a technical fault and declared an emergency. The flight then circled over the sea, in order to dump fuel. It is often necessary to dump fuel in these situations as the aircraft is above is the maximum permitted landing weight.
Following several loops of a holding pattern over the sea adjacent to Doha, the aircraft went to land back at its origin. The Aviation Herald reports that the aircraft was airborne for around an hour and 15-minutes. The publication also shared an image supposedly showing a hole in the engine which a passenger described as being 40cm by 40cm.
According to data from FlightRadar24.com, the aircraft involved (A7-BBC), was replaced by another Boeing 777. The replacement aircraft landed in Auckland around 5-hours and 45-minutes behind schedule.
Qatar Airways response
According to the NZ Herald, Qatar Airways issued a statement regarding the incident which reads the following:
“Qatar Airways can confirm that flight QR920 flying from Doha to Auckland Airport declared an emergency due to a technical fault following take-off and returned to Hamad International Airport. The crew took all necessary precautions and the aircraft proceeded to land safely and without incident.
Thankfully the aircraft went on to land safely in Doha, where data from FlightRadar24.com shows that is has been on the ground ever since. It has been reported in the media that when the aircraft did land in Doha, it was quickly surrounded by fire engines spraying water.
Were you onboard QR920 yesterday? Let us know your experience in the comments section.