United Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Returns To Tokyo 3 Times In A Row

United Boeing 787 Dreamliner Returns To Tokyo 3 Times. Photo: United Airlines

A United Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner had to return back to Tokyo Narita International Airport three times over the course of two days while trying to take off from the airport.

The aircraft returned back to Narita twice on July 2nd and once on July 3rd due to problem with its leading edge flaps. The 787-9 Dreamliner landed in Narita on July 2, 2020 at 7:45 am local time from Chicago O’Hare International Airport as flight UA2821.

The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, with registration N27958 was delivered to United Airlines back in September, 2015 and is currently 4.8 years old.

The aircraft was only 4.8 years old. Photo: Flickr

First Attempt

First, on July 2nd, the B787-9 was performing flight UA2822 from Narita Airport to Beijing International Airport in China. 

However, just after 50 minutes of flight at about 160 nautical miles (269 km) out of Tokyo, the crew decided to return to Narita due to a problem with the devices on the left-hand wing (also known as Krueger flap ). The crew decided to return when the aircraft was at 40,000 feet (12192 m).

The aircraft returned to Tokyo after departing for Beijing. Screenshot: FlightAware

After around 80 minutes of departure, the aircraft landed safely in Tokyo, with a landing speed higher than normal speed.

Second Attempt

Later on the same day, three hours after returning from the first attempt to Beijing, the 787 took off for flight UA2770 from Narita bound for San Francisco International Airport, in the USA.

When the aircraft was at 23,000 feet (7,010 m), the crew had to stop the climb again due to issues with the flaps on the leading edge of the left wing. 

The aircraft back to Tokyo after departing for San Francisco. Screenshot: FlightAware

Like the previous flight, the aircraft returned to Narita again, landing safely after about 90 minutes of departure, again with the landing speed above normal.

Third Attempt

On July 3rd, after remaining on the ground for about 21 hours and 30 minutes, the 787 took off from Narita for UA2770 to San Francisco. The takeoff took place at 13 hours and 2 minutes, local time.

The aircraft back to Tokyo on 3rd July. Screenshot: FlightAware

Again, when the aircraft was climbing at 29,000 feet (8,839 m), the crew interrupted the climb due to the same previous issue, related to the left-hand side flaps on the leading edge of the aircraft.

Thus, the aircraft once again returned to Narita airport, landing safely, again with a landing speed above normal, about 90 minutes after takeoff.

Deployed leading edge flaps. Photo: Getty Images

No injuries were reported on any of these three flights, as the 787 was scheduled to carry only cargo, with only four crew members on board.

According to Narita authorities, the runway was closed for 13 minutes, while airport officials inspected any damage to the runway after emergency landings.

United Airlines’ Boeing 787 is now scheduled to leave Narita on July 5, 2020, on flight UA2787 bound to San Franscisco.

The aircraft is scheduled to depart Narita on 5th July. Photo: United Airlines

What are your thoughts on this incident? Have you ever been on similar flights? Feel free to share with us in the comments below:

4 thoughts on “United Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Returns To Tokyo 3 Times In A Row”

  1. Yes, was on a flight from DFW to LAX,MD80. The crew tried over and over to retract the nose gear after t/o with no luck. Had to return to DFW. I thought it was due to really heavy traffic in the area, when we didn't climb out after t/o ��

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