View Full Version : Diverting to a Maintenance Base - Emirates 777

25th Aug 2011, 12:54
An Emirates Boeing 777-300, registration A6-EMU performing flight EK-60 from Hamburg (Germany) to Dubai (United Arab Emirates), was enroute at FL350 about 20nm east of Rzeszow (Poland) when the crew decided to divert to Vienna (Austria) (distances: Rzeszow 20nm, Krakow 110nm, Warsaw 155nm, Budapest 200nm, Vienna 240nm) due to problems with the left hand engine (Trent 895). The airplane landed safely on Vienna's runway 16 about 50 minutes later.

After landing in Vienna it was determined the left hand engine (Trent 895) had suffered substantial damage and needs to be replaced. The engine casing was found penetrated suggesting an uncontained engine event and a subsequent fire.

Austrocontrol said the crew reported problems with the left engine and decided to divert to Vienna because of maintenance possibilities.

I'm curious, just how do airline pilots determine whether a situation, such as this one, requires a land as soon as possible, a land as soon as practicle, or a land where convenient?

Your thoughts?

25th Aug 2011, 14:09
(My experience from 25 years ago...) If it's a simple OEI in cruise, as this appears to be, the crew will be in contact with Main Base, and follow their advice.

Now, with a casing penetration, they possibly saw a fire warning (hot air dumped undercowl) - so that factor might change the rules.

But then if it went away quickly, they could have regarded it as a false alarm.

25th Aug 2011, 16:55
It's a judgement call and second guessing their interpretation is fruitless.

Having data available after-the event, to pass opinions, is best left to the Chief pilot and regulator.

The pilot only knows the seriousness of the event from the symptoms.

and we don't even know the symptoms, only the results (safe flight and landing)

25th Aug 2011, 17:07
With an engine failure, landing at nearest suitable airport is required for twins; with a 4-engined transport you could continue to DXB.

26th Aug 2011, 17:07


A4 :confused:

26th Aug 2011, 17:10
Vienna might have been their en-route alternate. That's what their are for - for diversion in such cases, rather than the nearest afd.

26th Aug 2011, 19:44
From cruising altitude you are going to fly 100 miles at idle thrust before you get down. Additionally preparing the cabin for an emergency landing takes even longer. Choosing an airport that you know (Vienna is an EK 777 destination) makes sense. If you are on fire that is a different matter. But in this case it looks a pretty reasonable decision, particularly when you consider they regularly fly over the pole with these aircraft.