A United Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner was involved in three separate incidents over the span of two days, as it attempted to depart from Tokyo’s Narita International Airport (NRT).
The Dreamliner (registered N27958) landed in Narita (NRT) on July 2, 2020, at 7:45 AM local time (UTC +9) from Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) on flight UA2821. The B787 was supposed to continue on to Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) on flight UA2822, but after 50 minutes of flight time, the aircraft returned to NRT after declaring an emergency at 10:46 AM local time (UTC +9).
The same day, the United Airlines’ wide-body departed for San Francisco International Airport (SFO), taking off at 1:47 PM local time (UTC +9), but it was forced to turn around once again and less than an hour and a half later was back at Narita International Airport (NRT).
On July 3, 2020, the aircraft attempted to return to the United States once again, as it was scheduled to fly to San Francisco on flight UA2770. It took off at 1:02 PM local time (UTC +9), squawked 7700 and returned to one of the two Tokyo’s airports not an hour later.
No injuries were reported on the three flights, as the 787 was scheduled to carry cargo, with only four crew members onboard.
The cause of all three u-turns were malfunctioning leading-edge flaps of the left wing, local media reports indicate. In total, the runway was closed for 13 minutes, according to Narita officials, as the airport’s authorities inspected for any damage to the runway following the emergency landings.
United Airlines’ Boeing 787 is now scheduled to leave Japan on July 5, 2020, as flight UA2787.