A Japan Airlines Boeing 777-300ER sustained an engine failure after it took off from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on October 15, 2021. 

Flight JL15 had departed from Los Angeles and was heading for Haneda, Japan. According to aviation incident news site Aviation Herald, the aircraft (which was manufactured in 2008 and registered as JA740J) was climbing out of LAX’s runway 25R when the right-hand engine, GE90, emitted flames, prompting the crew to declare an emergency.  

At 5,000 feet, the flight crew stopped the climb and requested to dump fuel close to Santa Catalina island and return to LAX. The aircraft returned safely to LAX, landing on runway 25L 45 minutes later.

Here is a screenshot of JL15’s flight path, which can be played back on live air traffic site FlightRadar24.

flight path JL 15

Glenn Bletz, a professor of mechanical engineering and an Associate Dean at UC Santa Barbara, managed to capture a photo of the flight during the dramatic incident. 

Los Angeles International Airport confirmed with AeroTime Hub that the JAL aircraft indeed returned to LAX with a mechanical issue.

Japan Airlines said to AeroTime Hub in an emailed statement that the cause of the incident is still under investigation. The airline also confirmed that inspectors and technical personnel from Japan have been sent to LAX to investigate.