United Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner (registered N27958) had a troubling week of operations, as the aircraft was forced to perform its fourth turn-around in seven days.
On July 7, 2020, the wide-body took off from Rome Leonardo Da Vinci Fiumicino Airport (FCO) in Italy at 8:32 PM local time (UTC +2), an hour later than its scheduled departure time, towards New York Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR). About five minutes into the flight, the United Airlines Boeing 787 entered a holding pattern at Flight Level (FL) 150 and circled above the Tyrrhenian Sea off the coast of Italy.
After approximately half an hour of holding FL150, the Dreamliner squawked 7700, a general code for an emergency, and landed safely back at FCO. Nevertheless, the landing was performed at abnormally high speed – 197 knots. A datasheet from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) indicates that a normal approach speed for a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner is 153 knots.
The same United Airlines 787-9 (registered N27958) had a difficult week in the office, as this was the aircraft’s fourth turn-around in seven days. Previously, the 787 encountered severe issues in Japan, whereupon the wide-body attempted to leave Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT) for three times. It was forced to divert back to NRT due to issues with its leading-edge flaps on the left wing.
It is unclear whether the same problem led to the turn-around in Rome. AeroTime News approached United Airlines for comment.