On September 14, 2020, a British Airways Boeing 777-200 (registered G-VIIC) started its first journey since coming out of long-term storage. Shortly after it had departed London Heathrow Airport (LHR), it was forced to turn around as the right-hand engine shut down and aborted the journey towards New York. But the issue might have uncovered a more wide-spread problem in British Airways Triple Seven fleet.
According to reports, the flight crew noticed that the engine lost oil pressure thus turned around and dumped fuel over the Bristol Channel to reduce their landing weight. G-VIIC, the Boeing 777-200 involved in the incident, has been at LHR ever since, according to flightradar24.com data.
Definitely not the sort of contrail you want to see an aircraft leaving – BA 777 G-VIIC dumping fuel at FL100 over the Bristol Channel was LHR-JFK now returning to LHR @flightradar24 pic.twitter.com/nqT9PE4rxC— Peter Howlett (@CardiffOTT) September 14, 2020
From June 25 until September 8, 2020, the wide-body was stored at Cardiff Airport (CWL). It was its first commercial flight since coming out of storage.
Engineers, who conducted borescope inspections of the engine on the ground, found a number of oil pipes blocked. A check was done on multiple British Airways 777s, according to a source familiar with the matter, who also revealed that an issue might be more widespread across the whole fleet.
Currently, 25 out of the 55 British Airways Boeing 777s are grounded, planespotters.net data showcases. Some were put to storage fairly recently. For example, G-STBC, G-RAES, G-VIID, G-VIIJ, G-VIIK, G-VIIL, and other British Airways-registered and GE90-powered 777s have not flown since the aforementioned engine-shutdown incident. The potential reason for the grounding could also be the fact that the United Kingdom has a constantly shifting travel corridor list, which impacts demand for international travel.
AeroTime News approached British Airways, Boeing, and General Electric for comment.