United 787 between Denver and Narita diverts to Seattle

Via AirlineReporter.com:

A United Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner (Flight 139) going from Denver to Narita in Tokyo, made an emergency landing today at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) at about 4:15pm PST. The aircraft was met by fire crew, was inspected and allowed to park at the A-concourse. Currently fire crews have left the aircraft and mechanics are in the process of inspecting.

Ouch. Apparently there was a problem with an oil filter. Let’s hope it was an isolated event and the 787 doesn’t get grounded again. But my gosh, the plane sure doesn’t have luck on its side.

(Tip of the hat to Randy)

Filed Under: United
  1. Heh, and just earlier today they had a picture/post on Facebook touting the new 787service on this route!

  2. I am sorry but I am going to skip this bird until 2015 or later. I hate to be a guinea pig and this is getting too much. Give me a reliable 777 anytime.

  3. sad, sad, story. I really want the dreamliner to be a big hit. hopefully this incident isn’t related to the batteries and the media won’t overplay it.

  4. @SeanAu4882 is/was on that flight giving me live updates from the sky… I’ll keep you posted (or I’m sure he will) about what UA ends up doing. I feel bad for him because he is supposed to meet me in Dubai on 6/20 and probably won’t be able to make it since his NRT-DXB was on CX…

  5. This probably wouldn’t have made anything but the local news if it weren’t for the battery problems. An oil filter problem would be an issue with the engine and not the plane. Might sounds like semantics, but it’s a world of difference.

  6. I flew on two UA 787 domestic segments about two weeks ago. The first was delayed 45 minutes due to an APU and the second was delayed 4.5 hours due to a software fault. The second delay caused a misconnection for me to a Lifemiles-issued ticket on SQ, which of course United didn’t do anything to protect me on (nor did I expect them to). Bottom line is that the 787 is not reliable yet, and as a frequent flyer I’m doing what i can to avoid them until the bugs are ironed out.

  7. @Bangkokiscool take a look at who wrote the flight control software, you’ll have a clue, lol

  8. The 787 is like a new Windows OS release. Don’t use for at least 2 years. Oh yeah they are both made in the same area…

  9. It’s not “bad luck” – it’s the 24 hour news cycle/social media. If the 777 launch in ’95 had gotten the much scrutiny for the most minor issues, no one would ever have flown it.

  10. @ Blaine — I wasn’t really into planes back then, so I’m curious, were there really that many issues? While today’s diversion could be nothing, the Japan Airlines 787s had two major problems at Boston two days in a row — first a fire and then a fuel leak. Were there really as many issues with the 787?

  11. There are more serious diversions than this every single day. Today, a Delta A330 had to divert because of hydraulics failure, but you will never hear about that in the news. Not because it is less serious than the 787 issue, but because it won’t grab headlines.
    I’ve got a 787 flight IAH-LHR in a few weeks, and lack of F aside, I couldn’t be more excited.

  12. @ Kris Ziel — I look at it a bit differently. There are a few dozen 787s flying right now, while there are hundreds of A330s. I think of the 787 as being on “probation.” The A330 has proven it’s reliable, while the 787 hasn’t. If the same thing were to happen on the 787 and A330 right now, it’s much more significant on the 787 given it’s record and how few are flying.

  13. I avoided the A380 for a year (turned out not long enough!). Will avoid these for some time. It’s all about operating history. These birds don’t have it yet. Same for 350!

  14. “reliable 777 anytime” think some of you are too young to know how unreliable the 777 was when it first started in service…..

  15. @lucky – The 787 has better dispatch reliability at this stage of its EIS than either the 777 or 330 did at a comparable time. Both of these programs in turn had far better performance than earlier types.

    Let’s not forget that the A330 program also had a fatal hull loss during testing in 1994. If something like that had happened to a new model today, I can’t even begin to imagine the media reaction.

  16. Although, I enjoyed the ride on the 787 twice, the second time around we’re delayed out of IAH by over an hour due to some mechanical issues. Two weeks ago out of IAH, UA switched planes at the last minute (to a 777) w/o explanation. So like many here, I’ll stay clear from that ‘Dreamliner’ until it wakes up from its multiple ‘nightmare’ runs!

  17. It’s sad that this has happened. But I am so pissed off at UA and Smisek. He has Jeff’ed up the whole company. Nice thing to happen on the day that they announce the minimum spend for levels of elite status. What goes around comes around.

  18. Thank God we’ve got people like Sean M. around these blogs/forums who post useful information! Thanks dude. How’s LOS?

  19. @Willy – I’m in India right now – done with West Africa for a while I hope. Working on a couple of new start-up projects.

  20. Agree with Sean. United sent a “come to Jesus” letter to Boeing because of the issues with their 777’s. THIS IS NORMAL! Not a single person has been hurt.

  21. regarding sean m.’s comments, do you have any factual information to back up the 787’s relaibilty stats compared to 777 and a330 at comparable times, as i am doing a project that will touch on that subject and a website would be very benificial, hard to believe though im sure 777 had a great dipsatch from the start

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