A new Swiss Airbus A220 has had to turn around and fly back to Geneva after experiencing engine trouble over the Alps. The A220-300 was gaining altitude after take-off when the cockpit noticed a problem with one of their engines, deciding to land 30 minutes later.
What are the details?
Swiss International Air Lines flight LX-358, operated by a Bombardier CS 300 (delivered before the company rebranded the aircraft type to an Airbus A220-300), had just taken off from Geneva en route to London Heathrow. Shortly into the flight, they experienced a problem with one of their Pratt & Whitney engines.
The report, issued by The Aviation Herald, does not go into specifics of what was wrong with the engine, only that the pilots experienced an irregularity with the engine during ascent.
With four crew and 72 passengers on board, the flight deck decided to land the aircraft back in Geneva. Approximately thirty minutes later, the aircraft safety landed on runway 22 and was able to proceed to the ramp to disembark passengers.
The aircraft has remained at Geneva airport to be fully inspected by the Swiss maintenance team.
Is there a problem with the A220 engines?
This story is interesting as just last week the American FAA issued a notice that all Airbus A220 aircraft engines need to be inspected. Apparently, there might be an issue between the oil supply of the engine and the fuel oil cooler, which results in the engine behaving erratically.
“An AirBaltic A220-300 returned to Riga International Airport on August 5th, 2018, shortly after takeoff. The decision to return was made when the crew received a low oil-pressure warning for engine no.2. The second incident took place on October 13th, 2018, involving a Swiss International Air Lines A220-100 en route to Zurich from Paris. In this case, the flight continued to its destination.” – Simple Flying, 11th of September.
However, at this stage, Swiss has not been able to confirm if this event is caused by the same issue plaguing other A220 aircraft and the resulting FAA inspection. Swiss has had a run of bad luck in recent weeks with their A220 aircraft, with an engine catching fire and also hitting a bird during takeoff.
“We can confirm that SWISS flight LX358 experienced a warning of a malfunction in its port engine yesterday evening (Monday 16 September) while operating from Geneva to London Heathrow. The flight was carrying 72 passengers. The warning occurred during the climb; and in view of the audible and visible damage, the engine was shut down and the flight crew decided to return to Geneva. The landing was performed safely and without further incident. Passengers were offered hotel accommodation and rebooked onto the first possible connections.” – Swiss Statement to Simple Flying
Who is Swiss?
Swiss, or formally Swiss International Air Lines, is the flag carrier of Switzerland. They are not owned by the government and are actually a subsidiary of Lufthansa.
They have a fleet of 89 aircraft with 28 on order (17 Airbus A320neos, 8 Airbus A321neos, and two Boeing 777-300ERs). They serve both Europe and International destinations. You can check out a review of their business class (short-haul) here and a review of their business class (long-haul) here.
What do you think? Did the pilots take the right course of action? Let us know in the comments.