Power Recovered During Incident In Cruise Flight
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating an
incident in which a Delta Air Lines Boeing 777 experienced an
uncommanded engine rollback in the cruise phase of an
On November 26, 2008, at about 12:30 pm MST, in the vicinity of
Great Falls, Montana, a 777-200ER (N862DA), operated by Delta Air
Lines as Flight 18, en route from Shanghai to Atlanta, experienced
an uncommanded rollback of the right (number 2) Rolls-Royce Trent
895 engine while at 39,000 feet in the cruise phase of flight. The
crew executed applicable flight manual procedures and descended to
The engine recovered and responded normally thereafter, and
flight continued to Atlanta where it landed without further
incident. None of the crew of 15 or 232 passengers was injured.
Flight data recorders and other applicable data and components
were retrieved from the airplane for testing and evaluation. Both
of the pilots have been interviewed.
The NTSB notes the Delta event was preceded by another airline's
777 equipped with Rolls-Royce Trent 895 engines.
As ANN reported, a British Airways 777-200ER
experienced an uncommanded dual engine rollback while on final
approach to London's Heathrow International Airport on January 17,
2008, crashing short of the runway on airport property.
The United Kingdom's Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB)
is investigating that accident. While a final report has not been
issued, investigators have focused on the possibility of ice
crystals forming in fuel lines due to a larger-than-normal amount
of water in the fuel, combined with extremely cold temperatures
along the flight's polar route from Beijing.
The similarities in both incidents -- including plane type, and
the Chinese origination points of both flights -- are not lost on
either investigative branch. NTSB Senior Air Safety Investigator
Bill English, who is serving as the US Accredited Representative in
the Heathrow accident investigation, is the Investigator in Charge
of the Delta incident. Conversely, AAIB has assigned an Accredited
Representative to the Delta incident.
Parties to the investigation are: the Federal Aviation
Administration, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Eaton-Argotech, Delta
Air Lines, and the Air Line Pilots Association.