Last week, a Boeing 767 operated by TUI Belgium suffered flap issues on consecutive days. In both instances, the aircraft had been on approach to Brussels Airport, inbound from Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands. But how exactly did each incident play out?
The first incident
On December 25th, a TUI Belgium Boeing 767 was operating the second leg of flight TB1712. This service first flies from Lanzarote to its fellow Canary Island of Fuerteventura. It then continues onwards to its final destination, the Belgian capital of Brussels. FlightRadar24.com reports that the first leg operated as planned, departing Lanzarote at 15:31 local time and landing in Fuerteventura at 15:52. A smooth turnaround resulted in a one-minute early departure, at 17:14.
The majority of the second leg to Brussels passed without incident for the flight’s 150 passengers and 11 crew. However, The Aviation Herald reports that the flight’s initial approach into the Belgian capital had to be aborted due to a technical problem. The flight’s crew subsequently explained that the aircraft had an issue with its flaps.
Despite this technical problem, the crew was able to reposition the aircraft for a safe landing on runway 25L. The aircraft touched down at a normal speed, and without further incident. Flight TB1712 touched down just two minutes behind schedule, at 22:32 local time. This was despite having to abort the initial approach and briefly circle to the northeast of the airport.
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The second incident
Despite the aforementioned Christmas Day flaps issue, the aircraft returned to service the following day, on December 26th. Having flown from Brussels to Gran Canaria in the morning, it departed the holiday island as flight TB1564 half an hour late at 15:15 local time for its return to Belgium.
Much like the Lanzarote flight the previous day, this Boxing Day service also made a stop in Fuerteventura. It departed the island’s El Matorral Airport 15 minutes behind schedule, at 17:00. According to The Aviation Herald, 171 passengers and crew were onboard. As had happened the day before, the majority of the flight passed without incident. However, once again, an issue arose on approach to Brussels.
Having intercepted the localizer for runway 19 at Brussels, the crew of flight TB1564 declared PAN PAN, reporting a flaps indication. As such, they requested to maintain their altitude (3,000 feet) and the runway heading, rather than attempt a landing. Having entered a hold for approximately 25 minutes, the flight eventually landed safely and at a normal speed on runway 19 following an ILS approach. FlightRadar24.com reports that it touched down 20 minutes late, at 22:20 local time.
The aircraft involved
The aircraft involved in both incidents was TUI Belgium’s only Boeing 767-300ER, which bears the registration OO-JNL. According to Planespotters.net, it is almost 21 years old, having first been delivered as G-OBYJ to Britannia Airways in February 2000. The aircraft has been named Sunshine since April 2015, when it joined Jetairfly, which later became TUI Belgium.
SeatGuru reports that 767s operated by TUI and its subsidiaries are mainly configured with high-density 2-4-2 economy class seating. However, several examples, including this particular aircraft, also feature a 31-seat premium economy cabin at the front of the plane. OO-JNL has not yet returned to service since the second flaps issue on December 26th.
What do you make of these incidents? Have you ever flown on a TUI Boeing 767? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments.