LOT B788 over Atlantic on Mar 23rd 2018, engine shut down in flight, other engine surged

Last Update: July 3, 2018 / 21:11:27 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Mar 23, 2018


Flight number

ICAO Type Designator

Aircraft Registration

A LOT Polish Airlines Boeing 787-800, registration SP-LRF performing flight LO-6506 from Cancun (Mexico) to Warsaw (Poland), was enroute at FL390 over the Atlantic Ocean about 440nm southwest of Bermuda (Bermuda) when the crew needed to shut one of the engines (Trent 1000) down. The aircraft drifted down to FL220 and diverted to New York JFK,NY (USA) about 700nm north of their position. The aircraft landed safely on New York's runway 04L about 2:15 hours later. The crew advised no further assistance was needed and taxied to the apron.

A replacement Boeing 787-800 registration SP-LRB departed about 3 hours after landing of SP-LRF and reached Warsaw with a delay of about 5 hours.

The occurrence aircraft returned to service on April 11th 2018.

On Jul 3rd 2018 Polish Newspaper fakt.pl reported they had received an internal bulletin number 3/2018 by LOT Polish Airlines stating, that the aircraft diverted to JFK even though Miami was the nearest suitable airport after engine shut down. While diverting to JFK the other "good" engine surged for three seconds.

Another Polish newspaper posted a very strong statement by LOT claiming the report in fakt.pl is not true.

While cross checking these reports The Aviation Herald contacted LOT's press office, but so far did not receive a reply. The Aviation Herald is also awaiting reply from the FAA following our inquiry. The editors of fakt.pl immediately responded to our inquiry and forwarded the "BIULETYN BEZPIECZEÑSWA LOTNICZEGO FLOTY B787 03/2018" issued by the company's B787 safety pilot to LOT's flight crew. The safety pilot wrote (see the screenshot below for the original Polish text, below the editorial translation to English):

Today's newsletter is boring, there are no photos or interesting cases, there is explanation of rules only.


As we all know while analyzing our case with the engine shut down on our flight from Cancun to Warsaw we were very close to serious trouble. The "good" engine has experienced 3 seconds of "ENGINE SURGE" which could have led to its shut down. After landing it turned out the "good" engine had damage to its compressor seals that required the immediate replacement of the engine.

The crew not recognizing the condition of the "good" engine and for the reasons explained in the previous bulletin decided to divert to JFK instead of the nearest suitable airport for safe landing, lengthening the flight on one engine a bit.

The experience with General Electric Engines, which had experienced perhaps two shut downs on the Boeing 767s in over 20 years, had given the airline a sense of security so that the shut down of one engine did not cause any pressure, the probability of the failure of the second engine was rated minimal. Rolls Royce on the other hand had taught the airline however, that this was not true. From RR bulletins it is clear that the shut down of one engine dramatically increases the likelihood of the other engine failing. This forces us to revise our approach to ETOPS.

If you turn off an engine we need to land in the shortest possible time at the nearest suitable airport with suitable weather. Considerations like availability of second crew, mechanics, parts, fuel, hotels, etc. must be set aside.

I was required to remind you of the defintion of "NEAREST SUITABLE AIRPORT".

The following pages of the 16 page bulletin then re-iterate the ETOPS and nearest suitable airport rulework quoting from LOT's standard operating procedures, EASA rules and FAA rules.

On April 17th 2018 both EASA and FAA issued airworthiness directives for Trent 1000 engines in order to prevent a dual engine shut down in flight, see News: EASA and FAA issue Airworthiness Directives on Boeing 787 engines.
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Mar 23, 2018


Flight number

ICAO Type Designator

Aircraft Registration

This article is published under license from Avherald.com. © of text by Avherald.com.
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