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Fires, Fallout, Mechanical Failure: Boeing Airplanes Have Had A Bad Week

Fires, Fallout, Mechanical Failure: Boeing Airplanes Have Had A Bad Week
Jeff Edwards

The closure of an Irish airport following a fire aboard a Boeing 767 capped a rough week for the U.S. aerospace giant. There was also a report of an emergency landing involving smoke in the cabin of a Boeing Dreamliner. A Boeing-made plane suffered the loss of part of a wing in the air and last but not least, debris rained down from a Dreamliner over Rome.

For a brief time this week, not all of the news about Boeing involved safety issues surrounding the 737 Max, which has yet to be re-certified after being grounded in March. Unfortunately, the latest breaking news headlines haven’t been much better for the beleaguered aircraft manufacturer.

Seattle ABC-affiliate KOMO reported Thursday on Boeing and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week. By the time a Boeing 767-300 ferrying U.S. troops burst into flames at Shannon Airport (SNN) just prior to takeoff, a number of other headline-grabbing incidents involving Boeing aircraft had already captured the public’s attention. Although no-one was seriously injured in the accident in Ireland, the situation was serious enough that the airport was closed for several hours after the control tower spotted flames coming from the landing gear of the Omni Airlines plane, forcing passengers and crew to evacuate using emergency slides.

Earlier in the week, a Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner was forced to make an emergency landing at Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) after departing Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) for Europe. The captain decided to divert the Wednesday evening United Airlines flight when the smell of smoke was detected in the cabin.

On Tuesday, a Boeing 777-300 plane bound for Shanghai Pudong International (PVG) returned to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) after a “mechanical failure” which reportedly involved the China Eastern Airlines plane losing part of a wing in flight. The aircraft landed safely after circling the airport to burn off fuel.

On Monday, another 777 flying from Houston George Bush International Airport (IAH) to Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT) diverted to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) after the crew reported engine trouble. Firefighters met the All Nippon Airways (ANA) plane when it landed, but the issue was described simply as “engine overheating.”

In perhaps the most bizarre of the incidents this week involving Boeing planes, dozens of cars and homes were damaged and one person on the ground was injured when debris, including parts of the Boeing 787-8 aircraft, rained down on an Italian town. The Norwegian Air Shuttle flight bound from Rome–Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci International Airport (FCO) to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) over the weekend is said to have experienced “technical problems” shortly after takeoff. The plane landed safely, but not before showering the countryside with red-hot “glowing” aircraft parts. “Only a few more moments of flight and the incandescent splinters would have hit the center of town, or the crowded beaches of the Roman coast,” one Italian newspaper asserted.

Although this hasn’t been a great week for Boeing aircraft, it is important to note that flying is by far the safest way to travel for a number of reasons (including Boeing’s commitment to safety). It remains a near certainty that Boeing will close the year with a much better safety record than General Motors (as it has every year for well over a century).


[Featured Image: Wikimedia]

View Comments (3)


  1. Icecat

    August 16, 2019 at 4:06 pm

    Regarding the Omni Aircraft, the plane did not burst into flames as the blogger reported, but it was the brakes. Poor reporting.

  2. BiPlane

    August 17, 2019 at 2:04 am

    The Norwegian Air incident, as reported by other news outlets, was due to a malfunction in its RR Trent 1000 engine, which has developed numerous issues.

  3. Cymbo

    August 22, 2019 at 3:44 pm

    Both very useful corrections, thank you!

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