United Boeing 787-9 Makes High Speed Emergency Landing In Rome, Fourth Incident In A Week

 United Boeing 787-9 Makes High Speed Emergency Landing In Rome. Photo: United Airlines

A United Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner returned to Rome's Fiumicino Airport on July 7th after declaring a mid-flight emergency while it was climbing out of Rome's runway 25.


The aircraft was operating flight UA2860 from Rome's Fiumicino Airport to Newark Liberty International Airport. The aircraft was not carrying any passengers as this flight was part of United's robust freight program. 

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 crew stopped climb at FL150. Screenshot: FlightAware


The  4.8 years old Dreamliner was climbing at FL150 when the crew decided to turn around and return back to Fiumicino Airport for an emergency landing.

The crew stopped the climb and continued to fly at FL150 and slowed the aircraft to 300 knots over ground, while the crew contacted the Air Traffic Control.

Interestingly, this was the third incident for the aircraft in a duration of a week. The aircraft returned back to Narita twice on July 2nd and once on July 3rd due to problem with its leading edge flaps. 

The same aircraft returned to Narita on 2nd and 3rd July. Photo: United Airlines


However, it was not clear what led to the aircraft's return back to Rome. However, the cause of the incident seems similar to the ones back in Narita. 

After declaring an emergency landing, the aircraft entered a hold, then returned to Fiumicino Airport for a safe landing on runway 16R at a higher than normal speed (191 knots over ground) after about 60 minutes of departure.

The aircraft burnt off fuel over Tyrrhenian Sea and returned back to Rome. The aircraft taxied to the apron after landing.


The aircraft made safe landing in Rome. Photo: Flickr


The crew made safe landing without hinting to the nature of their problem prompting the return back to Rome shortly after take-off. 

After three returns in a row after take-off from Tokyo-Narita, the aircraft was on the ground in Tokyo. Later on July 5th, the aircraft successfully performed a flight back to San Francisco.

Then, the aircraft performed another flight from San Francisco to Chicago on July 6th. Then the aircraft performed a flight from Chicago to Rome on July 7th. 


The aircraft was performing a cargo flight. Photo: United Airlines


And then, departing Rome in the evening, the incident occurred when the plane was performing return flight back to Newark.

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

The problem must have been serious enough that forced the crew to return back. Currently, the aircraft remains on the ground in Rome.


The aircraft involved in the incident. Photo: Flickr


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

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