Technical issues were allegedly experienced on Monday while a Boeing 747-8 was being flown by the German airline Lufthansa. From Frankfurt, Germany, the aeroplane was making its way to Miami, Florida.
Due to the mishap, the widebody jet had to return to Frankfurt for inspection after travelling for almost five hours in the air. The pilots were forced to dump fuel because the plane was too heavy to arrive in Frankfurt.
Known as Lufthansa Flight 462, the 747, D-ABYG, was in service. The aircraft left the gate at 11:25, 35 minutes late, heading for Miami, according to information from Flightradar 24. After taking off on runway 07C, the aircraft made a northward bank before finally veering to the west. While flying over the UK and Ireland, D-ABYG ascended to a height of 32,000 feet, then climbed to 34,000 feet.
The crew decided to return to Frankfurt Airport because of a hydraulic issue as the plane was about to enter Oceanic Airspace about 220 nautical miles (253 miles) northwest of Shannon, Ireland, according to The Aviation Herald. This forced air traffic controllers to issue a new flight plan for the crew.
Dumping fuel, landing safely
The crew informed ATC that they needed to dump fuel because the aircraft was too heavy to arrive in Frankfurt when the flight had nearly two hours left and had climbed to a height of 35,000 feet in the east. D-ABYG turned south before flying back over Ireland, descending to 31,000 feet, and dumping fuel because the pilots allegedly wanted to do it as quickly as possible.
About 45 minutes after the crew made the decision to come back, the aeroplane completed the fuel dump and then made a sharp turn to the east, heading for Frankfurt. Four hours, three minutes after takeoff, the aircraft started to descend. The choice to return to Frankfurt by D-ABYG was made at 2:40 p.m., and the aircraft landed back on runway 07C with open gear doors.
Frankfurt to Los Angeles
Given how fast mechanics were able to repair the aircraft, the hydraulic issue was probably not serious. On Tuesday, D-ABYG is set to take Lufthansa flight 456 on a nearly 12-hour flight from Frankfurt to Los Angeles. On the 747-8, hydraulic problems have been a little prevalent.
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An identical occurrence involving a Polar Air Cargo 747-8F flying from Cincinnati to Tokyo happened the previous year. About 40 minutes before landing, the crew reported a hydraulic failure as the cargo aircraft was about to descend. The aircraft successfully landed, but it needed to be towed off the runway because the gear doors were still open.
A hydraulic malfunction in the aircraft’s hydraulic system occurred in a Qatar Airways Cargo 747-8F in September 2020 1. The event caused the system’s hydraulic fluid to run out entirely.
The plane touched down at Hamad International Airport in Doha without incident, but because it needed to be towed off the runway, the airport had to be briefly closed. The GEnx engine #1 needed to be replaced, according to further examination by the mechanics.
The 747-8 variant allegedly differs from the 747-400 in that it has an updated environmental control system (ECS) as well as modifications to its electrical and hydraulic systems.
According to FlightGlobal, the ECS receives its air from the GEnx engines and is supplied by the Liebherr Group’s Liebherr-Aerospace Toulouse subsidiary.
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