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Monday, April 19, 2021

Qatar Airways plane to Doha makes emergency landing over engine trouble

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Boeing 787 Dreamliner for illustrative purposes only.
Boeing 787 Dreamliner for illustrative purposes only.

A Qatar Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner carrying some 254 passengers to Doha this weekend was forced to change course and make an emergency landing, apparently due to a fault with one of its engines.

The plane had been flying from Oslo to Doha on July 9, but the scheduled six-hour direct flight ending up being a much longer journey for passengers.

According to FlightRadar, the plane took off around 10am from Oslo, but then landed in Bucharest less than three hours later.

An incident report stated that the crew needed to shut down a GEnX engine, according to the Aviation Herald. It continued:

“The crew declined any left turns and advised they needed to turn right only. The aircraft diverted to Bucharest’s Otopeni Airport, dumped fuel and landed safely on runway 26L about one hour after leaving FL350.”

Landing in Doha

When asked about the incident, a Qatar Airways spokesperson told Doha News:

“As a precaution, the flight diverted to Bucharest where it landed and taxied under its own power, and the passengers were provided onward travel.”

According to FlightRadar, it was at least 10 hours before another aircraft picked up the passengers and crew in Romania.

Some appeared unhappy about the delays:

https://twitter.com/LeniRavny/status/751829959988174848

Speaking to Doha News, Leni Ravnoy Eriksen added that the issue was not having to be diverted and land, but the lack of communication from Qatar Airways about what was going on.

She continued:

“The problem was that we got no information about when we could expect to travel on…We had to stay there for more than 10 hours.

Everyone was tired, angry and annoyed.”

And even though the new plane, also a 787, took her to Doha at 4:25am this morning, she has now missed her connecting flight and is still waiting to leave Hamad International.

Aviation Herald added that the Dreamliner with the engine fault remained on the ground in Bucharest as of last night.

Engine issues

The Dreamliner is one of Qatar Airways’ signature aircraft, but has had some problems in recent years, including with its batteries and engines.

In April, the national carrier said it was complying with an “urgent” order from the US Federal Aviation Administration to repair all 787s flying with the latest General Electric Co. (GE) engines.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

The move followed an incident on Jan. 29 when one engine on a Japan Airlines plane flying from Vancouver to Tokyo had to be shut down in mid-flight due to an icing issue.

When asked if this issue was at play regarding the latest emergency landing, the Qatar Airways spokesperson said, “I don’t have details to share at this time.”

In April, GE said that the problem was caused by ice shedding from the fan blades and spinner, which causes the blades to rub against the fan case. This can lead to engine vibrations.

The work to the engines is expected to be done by late September, in line with the FAA’s 150-day deadline.

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