Smartwings Boeing 737-800 Flies For Over Two Hours On One Engine

On Thursday, August 22nd, a Smartwings Boeing 737-800 experienced an engine shutdown in mid-flight. Although the incident occurred as the plane was over the Aegean Sea, the aircraft continued on its way to Prague.

The airline has 35 737-800 aircraft in its fleet. Photo: Eric Salard via Wikipedia

Flight details

According to the Aviation Herald, the Smartwings aircraft (registration OK-TVO) was performing flight QS1125 from Samos, Greece to Prague, Czech Republic. There were 170 people on board the plane.

As the flight was over the Aegean Sea and 100 nautical miles northeast of Athens, Greece, the left-hand engine experienced a spontaneous shut down. The crew responded to this occurrence by decreasing its altitude from FL360 to FL240.  The flight continued at this altitude until landing without further incident – two hours and 20 minutes later.

The flight path of QS1125. Photo: FlightRadar24.com

Flying on one engine

According to FlightDeckFriend, a twin-engine aircraft is able to fly perfectly well on a single-engine. In fact, it can even “continue the take-off and then safely land with just one engine”. The website goes on to say that “the loss of one engine in flight is not usually a particularly serious problem and the pilots are given extensive training to deal with such a situation”.

The Aviation Herald obtained further information that the engine involved was the #1 engine (left-hand) – a CFM56. The crew responded by working through the related checklists and then attempting to relight the engine two times. With sufficient fuel remaining, the crew made the decision to continue to its destination: Prague. 17 hours after landing in Prague, OK-TVO was back in service. According to FlightRadar24, it has already made 12 flights (at the time this article was published).

An update to this article: Several people (with pilot experience and knowledge of regulations) have commented that proper procedures would have had the pilots land at the closest suitable airport. This was clearly not done as there were numerous airports between the incident location and Prague.

About the aircraft

According to Airfleets, OK-TVO is a 17.5-year-old Boeing 737-800. Since first being delivered to GOL airlines in 2002, the plane has also flown with Canadian budget carrier Sunwing Airlines and Indian budget airline SpiceJet.

The aircraft had 166 people on board when the incident occurred. Caption. Photo: Anna Zvereva via Flickr

The plane is powered by a set of CFM-56 engines. According to Wikipedia, this type of engine also powers the Airbus A320 (ceo) family as well as the Airbus A340-200 and A340-300.

The Aviation Herald also reports that mechanics replaced “the hydro-mechanical unit (HMU), fuel filter nozzle, servo fuel heater, fuel pump and fuel heat exchanger”. Furthermore, maintenance crews performed a “test 5 – power assurance test”, which the aircraft passed.

Video of the day:

Czech Media, irozhlas and zdopravy, as well as Aviation Herald, reported the  airline’s official statement:

“The crew proceeded in accordance with the safety and operational procedures for these cases and the aircraft landed safely. The commander is one of the most experienced in the company, the crew was in control of the situation and certainly would not underestimate anything.”

About Smartwings

Once known as the airline “Travel Service”, Smartwings is a Czech airline that offers scheduled and charter flights. According to Wikipedia, the majority of these flights fly from Prague to leisure destinations. Furthermore, Smartwings wet- and dry-leases its aircraft to other airlines. This was the case for OK-TVO with its time at Sunwing and SpiceJet.

Smartwings is essentially an all-737 fleet. Photo: flightlog via Flickr

The Smartwings fleet mainly consists of several variants of the Boeing 737. However, the airline has a single Airbus A320 – registration YR-SEA – that it received at the beginning of this year as a lease from Star East Airlines.

Aside from the one A320, the rest of the Smartwings fleet is comprised of Boeing 737s. Including:

  • Three -400s,
  • Two -700s,
  • 35 -800s,
  • Two -900s,
  • and seven MAX 8s.

Have you ever flown with Smartwings? With their selective routes, they’re not as well known – we’d love to know what flying with the airline is like. Share your experience by leaving a comment!

19
Leave a Reply

11 Comment threads
8 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
15 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Bruce Wayne

ALL of the possible engine failure checklist procedures in the non-normal checklist manual for the B737-800 conclude with the same ORDER by Boeing: “Plan to land at the nearest suitable airport.”
From the location of the event before reaching Prague my conservative estimate is at least 20 suitable airports this crew bypassed, carrying unnecessary risk.

chris

Article also. seems to let the pilot off lightly wrt his potential conflict of interest.

As well as making the decision to fly a broken plane for over two hours, his main airline role is….?

Vojta Psik

So, you’d love to know what Smartwings is like… well, back when it was Travel Service, it basically was a lovely full service airline, now it’s pretty much a low cost carrier (but they still provide free water, so not a Ryanair type LCC, also, their luggage policy is more passenger-friendly). The worst thing about the company is it has a monopoly on charter flights from Czech Republic, so travel agencies can’t escape them (as Smartwings also owns “dying” CSA… one of the worst national carriers in the world), which is where the problem begins, as flight cancellations or last… Read more »

totoCZ

I’m Czech so I flew with them to Egypt on holidays. If you ever flown ČSA in the past few years you can also get their crew/plane instead if you’re “lucky”. Having same owner now means anything that can move flies the route. It’s a typical charter, imagine Ryanair but with food (on long trips). Sometimes you get annoyed cabin crew, sometimes pleasant. Same in CSA. Depends. Nothing really worth mentioning, you get the cheap flight. My last two CSA flights were one with SW aircraft and nice SW crew and the other one with CSA Boeing that was probably… Read more »

Loubouch

This is a country that used to have one of the safest skies in the world, with skilled pilots that were respected the world over and services that rivalred big name legacy carriers and were miles in front of the LOTs and Malevs. CSA of the 90s and early 2000s….Now this shit airline represents us? Ive flown with them many times: not on charters but on OK-(CSA)-numbered flights and from a customer point of view it was always a disaster. So much so that today I fly non-direct in order to avoid them. I had hoped, safety was fine even… Read more »

Jakub O

Smartwings is a budget airline trying to compete with likes of easyjet. Eg. pretty bad and should be avoided if there is a better option. Their advantage is in their direct flights to leuisure destinations make it very convenient to get to smaller islands in Aegean.

Peter Toy

should have returned to Athens, Greece.

What if the other engine failed?

prudent to be safe.

Blair

Not so smart on the part of SMARTWINGS. The plane should have landed promptly at the nearest suitable airport. If the pilots didn’t know do that, or if their management put pressure on them to keep flying on one engine, then this is an unsafe airline and one that I would will never fly.

Luka

“the loss of one engine in flight is not usually a particularly serious problem and the pilots are given extensive training to deal with such a situation”…yes, of course, to get immediately the closest airport suitable and land. What a lack of responsibility. The had at least 8 alternate airports not to mention the departure’s one. “The commander is one of the most experienced in the company”…my ass. Probably he is one of the owners and didn’t want to pay for extra fuel and maintenance.

S H

This is an emergency and any two engine aircraft with one failed the emergency has to be declared and all checklists will stipulate “Plan to land at the nearest suitable airport “

joe smith

If this “commander is one of the most experienced in the company,” and he/she had no idea that they should have landed at the NEAREST suitable airport; nor the judgement to do so, then its a pretty sad commentary on the overall quality and competence of this company’s pilots.

Edime Abuh

Am beginning to get sick and tired of this frequent engine problems on both old and new planes all over the world