Boeing 777 Makes an Emergency Landing in Moscow After Engine Warning


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MOSCOW — A long-haul Boeing 777 airliner made an emergency landing in Moscow on Friday after pilots received an indicator warning of possible engine failure, Russian officials said, reviving concerns about the Boeing planes.

An engine failed last weekend on another Boeing 777, scattering debris over the Denver area, while a similar mishap occurred on a Boeing 747 cargo plane over the Netherlands. Both planes managed to land safely.

Both of those equipment failures involved Pratt & Whitney engines, raising concerns about metal fatigue in the fan blades of the engines, some of them dating to the mid-1990s. But the plane that landed in Moscow was equipped with different engines, made by General Electric.

The plane, operated by a Russian company, Rossiya Airlines, was flying from Hong Kong to Madrid when it diverted to Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport shortly before 5 a.m. local time.

A regional division of the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations reported the landing on its website. The airport’s director had alerted the emergency services because “an instrument light activated for failure of the control channel for the left engine.”

The plane was being operated mostly as a cargo flight, carrying 36 metric tons of cargo and 25 people, the report said. “The aircraft landed safely and nobody was harmed,” it said.

It was unclear whether the engine indeed malfunctioned or the instrument light activated incorrectly. The Russian report also did not clarify whether the pilots shut down the engine before landing.

Boeing said on Sunday that all 128 of its 777 jetliners equipped with Pratt & Whitney engines of the type involved in the Colorado incident, the PW4000 series, would be grounded worldwide. The 747 involved in the accident in the Netherlands was powered by a different type of Pratt & Whitney engine.

Pratt & Whitney engines were also the focus of concern in an episode in December when an engine problem forced a Japan Airlines plane to turn around shortly after taking off from Okinawa.

Rossiya Airlines is part of the national flag carrier, Aeroflot, and like its parent company operates a fleet of mostly Western-made planes. It flies 10 Boeing 777 airplanes, according to the airline’s website. Boeing and Rossiya Airlines did not immediately return calls asking for comment about the incident.

The New York Times


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