What Happened To The Norwegian 737 That Diverted To Iran?

Recently I wrote about how a Norwegian 737 MAX was operating a flight from Dubai to Oslo.

It suffered a serious engine problem (despite the aircraft being only a few months old), and was forced to divert to Shiraz, Iran.

What made this interesting (and complicated) was the diplomatic situation if spare engine parts were needed to be sent to fix the aircraft from the US or Europe. This is because there are strict trade sanctions in place between these countries and Iran.

It raised several questions about what would happen to this aircraft, and several readers debated in the comments of my earlier article about the ease or difficulty of fixing this plane. Some believed it would not be a problem, and that either the sanctions did not apply to this situation, or if they did, an exception would be made because of the circumstances.

Reader Mark Frizzell yesterday posted the following comment:

Any update? Was the plane recovered from Iran?

This was a great reminder to see what has happened with the aircraft, more than two weeks after the original diversion.

So what did happen?

All passengers travelled to Oslo on a replacement aircraft that was sent from Oslo to Shiraz.

But Flightradar24 is showing the faulty 737 MAX aircraft, LN-BKE, is still on the ground in Shiraz.

The Airliners forum believes that the engine suffered an ‘oil-associated fault,’ and the Norwegian engineers who were originally sent to Shiraz to repair the plane were unable to do so.

As a result a replacement engine needs to be sourced. The additional paperwork/red tape, because of the sanctions restrictions, are believed to be holding up the process.

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: هواپیمای #بويینگ B737MAX8 شرکت هواپیمایی نروژین به رجیستر LN-BKE که به دلیل اشکال موتور در مسیر #دبی – #اسلو در #شیراز فرود اضطراری کرده بود، همچنان در این فرودگاه منتظر رفع اشکال می باشد. ـ 📷عکس از قاسم ستوده @ghasemsetodeh @Aerospacetalk 📡تازه‌ترین خبرها از : -ورود هواپیماهای تازه به ناوگان هوایی کشور و شرکتهای هوایی جهان -خبرهای صنعت #هوانوردی و #هوافضا را در #ائرواسپیس_تاک دنبال کنید معتبرترین و موثق ترين کانال #هوانوردی کشور 🇮🇷 لینک کانال تلگرام #مرجع_هوانوردی : 📲 t.me/Aerospacetalk

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Bottom line

I’ll keep an eye on what happens here — I thought they may have tried to fly the damaged aircraft (empty) to a neighbouring country, where it might be easier to source replacement parts, but that doesn’t appear to have happened.

Perhaps Norwegian didn’t think the faulty engine would be so difficult to replace?

Comments

  1. You can be assured that the Iranian authorities have thoroughly examined the MAX aircraft in an effort to glean insight, technology and updates for their own torture chambers.

  2. The decision to land immediately in Iran makes it clear the engine issue was serious.

    The tech feedback is that a replacement engine is required.

    I’m not sure how, on that basis, you can then wonder why Norwegian haven’t flown it to somewhere a little more friendly.

    One engined Ops are simply not permissible, unless you’re in a 172, Cirrus, Piper…

    Come on OMAAT, up the standards please. This is junk.

  3. @Mike that’s pretty harsh.

    On a totally unrelated note, do any of you know the link for booking partner awards on Flying Blue? Thanks.

  4. @steve – I don’t understand: Iran’s Aseman Airlines had already negotiated an agreement with Boeing to deliver 50 737-MAXs a year ago – though they’re obviously subject to economic sanctions now. AFAIK, there’s no classified/NOFORN material restrictions, so there’d be no restrictions on Iranian nationals studying the technology outside Iran (and IIRC, the engines are a joint venture between Boeing and a French company). What great technological secrets do you think a now-widely available commercial airliner would provide?

  5. Lion Air is considering to cancel the 737 MAX order as they now consider them to be unreliable. This is one of Boeings largest customers. It seems more and more that Boeing has fallen seriously behind.

  6. @steve & @Stuart –
    “@Steve I got your snarky humor and it was perfect. One of my picks as Comment of The Year. Nicely done.”

    I obviously didn’t…

    I’d blame it on the constant barrage of xenophobic rhetoric I get from coworkers and neighbors, but it was probably just a massive humor fail on my part.

  7. @William, but true.

    Name me a twin commercial airliner verified to fly, even as ferry, on one engine.

    The whole article is based on speculation of an impossible scenario.

  8. @steve I thought the US had all the torture chambers – you know, Abu Ghraib as well as Guantanamo Bay (and others?). I suppose that does make them the experts then!

  9. I agree with @steve in theory but not sure if Norwegian Max are configured like the AA version 🙂

    I listened to the Dots Lines Destination podcast discussing this. Seems like if a new engine was brought into Iran and also left Iran it wouldn’t be really importing. I’m sure they will get this figured out but think of the lost revenue and cost for them at a bad time. I guess it could be worse. They could ground it due to Rolls Royce engine issues.

  10. Engines are extraordinarily expensive, with Norwegian’s cash flow problems, I doubt anyone would loan them the money to buy one (:-)

  11. Look, that aircraft is grounded
    That aircraft is grounded in Iran.
    The country of Iran will decide what happens with the aircraft.
    The do not require anyone’s opinion and are not likely to seek anyone’s permission with respect to the ultimate disposition of the aircraft.
    Mindless ranting is totally irrelevant, serving no purpose whatsoever.

    Stop it.

  12. @Mike – but the sun will come up tomorrow and life will go on. It was just a comment made, it doesn’t actually matter.

  13. @Mike says, “Name me a twin commercial airliner verified to fly, even as ferry, on one engine.”

    All of them.

    @Mike also spewed forth, “One engined Ops are simply not permissible, unless you’re in a 172, Cirrus, Piper…”

    This is completely, utterly, and absolutely false. Single engine operations on multi engine aircraft are quite common, especially during training. In fact, pilots training for their multi-engine certification spend more time flying with one engine than both. Nowhere in the FARs is there a regulation prohibiting the operation of only one engine on a multiengine aircraft.

    Finally, @Mike ate shoe leather, “Come on OMAAT, up the standards please. This is junk.”

    Might I suggest you know WTF you’re talking about before making such proclamations? Kthanksbye.

  14. “This is completely, utterly, and absolutely false. Single engine operations on multi engine aircraft are quite common, especially during training. In fact, pilots training for their multi-engine certification spend more time flying with one engine than both”

    I don’t know who the freak you are, but the above is a gigantic self serving LIE.
    What the freak is wrong with you?

  15. Is there any difference between Iran and US? Let me think…. At first glance… autocratic regime without real moral standards. Ok one difference perhaps…. No dead kids in refugee camp because of dehydration in Iran.

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