Japan Airlines Boeing 777 faces engine malfunction after take off


* Article updated on 10/19/2021 07:50 UTC with a statement from Japan Airlines *

On October 15, a Japan Airlines Boeing 777 bound for Tokyo had to return to Los Angeles after departure due to an engine malfunction. The incident occurred as the plane exited the California air hub and resulted in the emission of flames from the plane’s right turbojet engine. Let’s take a closer look at how the incident unfolded.

The flight must have dumped fuel due to the engine malfunction. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple theft

The flight in question

Japan Airlines (JAL) flight JL15 is a scheduled service departing from Los Angeles International (LAX) in California. Data RadarBox.com shows that it works almost every day. Indeed, it has been running every day this month (and will continue to do so tomorrow) except, oddly enough, today. Its scheduled departure time is 1:45 p.m.

The destination of the flight is Tokyo Haneda (HND). His arrival there is scheduled to take place at 5:20 p.m. the next day, for an expected duration of 11 hours and 35 minutes. The flight heads west across the Pacific Ocean, crossing the date line in the process.

JAL exclusively deployed the Boeing 777-300ER on this flight last month. The Japanese national carrier faces stiff competition on the route, with four other carriers present. They are American Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines.

Japan Airlines Getty Boeing 777-300ER
The Boeing 777-300ER is present on JAL’s Los Angeles-Tokyo Haneda flights. Photo: Getty Images

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What happened?

According to data from RadarBox, flight JL15 on Friday, October 15 did not have the best start, nearly an hour late at 2:33 p.m. local time. However, the flight was about to encounter much more serious problems. Indeed, The herald of aviation reports that while moving away from runway 25R at LAX, the aircraft suffered a flaming engine failure.

The striking nature of the incident is evident in the tweet above. With flames emitted by the right-hand GE90 turbojet engine of the 777, the crew declared an emergency. After stopping their climb at 5,000 feet, ATC instructed them to continue at 6,000 feet to begin the fuel dump process. This ensured that the aircraft would not be overweight on landing.

JL15 Flightpath 15Oct2021
The flight path of JL15 on Friday October 15. Picture: RadarBox.com

Turning southwest of town near Santa Catalina Island, the flight eventually dumped enough fuel to achieve a suitable landing weight. It landed safely on LAX runway 25L, with data from FlightRadar24.com showing he did so at 3:18 p.m. local time, after 45 hectic minutes in the air. A safe taxi to the apron followed.

Regarding the incident, a spokesperson for Japan Airlines told Simple Flying:

The cause of this problem is still being investigated. In order to carry out a detailed inspection of the engine interior, we sent inspectors and technical personnel from Japan to the site. (…) We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and anxiety caused to our passengers. We will investigate the cause of the problem as soon as possible to prevent it from happening again. “

Red Wing Airlines, Cirium, On Time Airlines
JAL sent a team of engineers to LAX to inspect the engine. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple theft

The plane involved

The Boeing 777-300ER which experienced the burning engine malfunction bears the registration JA740J. Data ch-aviation.com shows that it is 13.16 years old, having joined the brand new JAL in August 2008. It can accommodate 244 passengers in a four-class configuration.

The bulk of these make up the economy class cabin with 147 seats and nine abreast. Offering more legroom, there are also 40 premium economy seats with eight abreast, with a generous 42-inch pitch. When it comes to flatbed comfort, the JA740J has 49 business class flatbed beds in a seven-front configuration. Finally, it also has an exclusive first-class cabin with eight beds and four places.

What do you think of this incident? Have you ever witnessed such a fiery engine malfunction? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments.

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