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American Airlines 777 Diverted to Tulsa due to engine failure

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American Airlines flight 79 diverted to Tulsa International Airport after losing their left engine en-route from London to Dallas. (www.newson6.com) עוד...

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opus1969
T. K. 7
I was one of passengers on the plane. The pilot reported an issue with the left engine and said that we were going to land in Tulsa. It did not seem as a total loss of the engine as we had a very controlled and uneventful landing. The only thing unusual about the landing was the quick descent. No "brace" positions for the landing. I was curious if Tulsa was large enough to handle the 777 but it seemed ok both for landing and taking off.

Once on the ground, they announced that we could not deplane as there is customs office at the Tulsa airport. I found it amusing during the announcement as the name on the terminal read "Tulsa International Airport". I guess the airports/cities have this self importance to make themselves look/sound bigger than reality!

The pilot later came through the plane to provide further updates. I thought this provided a little more of the personal touch and reassurance that we are all (passengers & crew) stuck on the plane. Even the crew cannot deplane without customs. Another 777 was going to flown from DFW to Tulsa. They had the pilots but also had to get the full crew before taking off.

Once it was in the air, they deplaned all the passengers and crew into a terminal. No bathrooms, no food in the airport which they politely announced beforehand. They had the local TSA block off the exits and confined all the passengers into a small area around the gate.

Once the new plane arrived, we quickly boarded and flew to DFW. one good thing about arriving 5 hours late was that were no lines at the immigration or customs.

For me, this was my final destination. For those continuing on were to stay overnight at a hotel to make their connections the next day.

Kudos to the pilot. He said during one of his updates that they had a choice to continue to DFW and he made the call to land in Tulsa. Better to arrive late than never...

I find myself amazed at the reactions of some of the people. During the initial announcement to make the emergency landing, you could notice the passengers getting nervous and look concerned. Once their feet (wheels) hit the ground, the relief was shortly lived and the bitching and moaning began from many about how their plans were so rudely interrupted by uncontrolled circumstances.
preacher1
preacher1 1
It actually happened over FSM or close by, which is only about 100 miles from TUL. At FL, the descent would have been rather quick. The 777 is designed to fly on one engine and pilots train for it regularly, so there shouldn't have been anything out of the ordinary. That airport has been Tulsa International for years. I guess it's because you can hit just about any hub out of there and connect. I can't remember in years past if there were any true International flights or not. It never gave the nature of the engine problem, and you said the Pilot said he had a choice. I really can't understand why he didn't go on to DFW. He was less than 1 hr under normal conditions and the waves would have parted like the red sea with him having engine out. Many other diversion airports enroute.
opus1969
T. K. 3
My perception of what felt wrong vs what is actually wrong could be quite different. The problem could have been a warning or an actual failure of some sort in the engine. Any way, I will definitely defer to the pilot's experience & judgement on this issue. But, it must have been serious enough for the pilot to not continue so close to the destination. Ultimately, its the pilot's call.
bbabis
Bill Babis 5
I'll back up the crew decision also. Because they lived to fly another day so did you and the others. If the problem even hinted at fuel contamination or other fuel issue, you need nearest available because both engines could be affected.
preacher1
preacher1 2
That's kinda me too. You said that pilot said he had a choice. I would defer to him with no other details given
DerekCooks
Derek Thomas 2
Roger all of the above.
MattHauke
Matt Hauke 1
I'm sure there are some flights into Mexico from there. Just like all the northern airports call themselves "international" because they may have a commuter flight or two going into Canada.
DerekCooks
Derek Thomas 0
Still a touch confused. If pilot felt he had a choice, and if Tulsa is NOT a big 777 mx hub, and if AA wanted min px disruption and max service (as if!) - DFW would have seemed an easy call. But I wasn't on the plane, I'm not in charge AA decisions, and they did what they did. Thanks for the px view, T.k.!
LOUV
Lou Vencl 3
An engine out is an emergency, period. Not even a light civilian aircraft could be excused for continuing on to their destination bypassing suitable landing fields along the way (that is normally how accidents happen). The flight crew chose the appropriate response to the emergency.

The company operations manual also dictates what shall be done for each scenario when the flight crew is able to comply. You do not go against established company procedures unless the emergency, in the flight crews determination, would make it unsafe to comply with.

Pretty cut and dry.
preacher1
preacher1 2
Well, according to the post above, the Pilot had a choice and made the one he was comfortable with. He was given the option and TUL is the one he took. He was flying the plane; we weren't. That's why he was in the left seat with 4 bars on his shoulder. Kudos!!!!!!!!
LOUV
Lou Vencl 1
I was agreeing with the flight crew response to the situation. I have a little over 5000 hours and have seen those seemingly small emergencies compound into near nightmares pretty quickly.
preacher1
preacher1 2
I kinda like what Tom says here below. It becomes a single engine airplane. It didn't use to be that big of a deal to lose 1 on a 707 since that left you 3, and actually was a fairly common occurrence, so no big deal, but when the twins started hitting the air, better to be safe than sorry. Price that airlines pay for ditching an FE and 2 engines in favor of fuel economy. From going out over FSM, only it(and only 8 grand), TUL and the old Perrin AFB near Sherman TX were the only option. TUL was best choice because of closeness and AA mx resources there. You are correct in that he might've made the call to go on since it was well within range but little stuff can turn ugly at times.
tbpera
Tom Pera 3
it's still a single engine airplane and best to get it down quickly and safely
iflyrjs
terry gersdorf 1
That's the way we roll
preacher1
preacher1 1
Terry: Are you an AA Captain or FO? I saw that you were an ATP. Just curious.
smoki
smoki -2
Too bad you couldn't have diverted to and landed at Laredo, El Paso, Brownsville or Tuscon you could have got off the plane and hitched a ride on one of the many buses carrying all those undocumented (illegal) aliens to various cities in America. Customs and Border Protection or CBP (the new INS under the DHS) doesn't seem to be concerned about undocumented entry into the USA in such places near or on our southern border. But wait, you might need a major alternation to your genetic code and/or economic status to qualify for such entry without CBP monitoring. Welcome to Amerika!
preacher1
preacher1 3
Until yours, this is one post that was pretty much politic free. I'd just as soon it stay that way.
hiflier32
ric lang -2
Give the guy a break. It's his prerogative to say what he thinks, which is a step up from all of us others that think the same thing, but for reasons of propriety just shut the f### up.
Determined
Danny Lee 3
TUL is an international airport because of cargo for the oil industry. Russian Antinovs are seen there periodically. TUL customs has limited hours and handles only the crew and cargo. They are not set up for passengers.
KauaiGolfer
KauaiGolfer 2
I'm very happy to see there was a Captain on board, who decided the safety of his passengers far outweighed what a company man would've chosen, which would be to continue on one engine and try to save the company some money. Remember the Eastern L-1011 going into NAS with three missing drain plug o-rings? Almost went into the drink? Company man. Swissair MD-11 in Halifax, with smoke in the airplane and a runway in sight, chose to turn away to dump fuel so the company wouldn't be stuck with an inspection and a logbook entry? Company man. I want a CAPTAIN in the left seat of any airplane I'm in. Good job, Captain!
preacher1
preacher1 1
I understand your post but in defense of AA, it doesn't appear they were mandatory. The pax that is posting above says that the CAPTAIN told them that HE had a choice.
sgbelverta
sharon bias 2
Considering Oklahoma has several Air Force bases with nice long runways, in addition to OKC and Tulsa, and doesn't have near the aircraft congestion that Dallas has, it was a good place to land. A pilot with a big plane and one engine likes lots of alternatives.

I got stuck in OKC when DFW was closed due to weather. There were 9 little MD80's all lined up on the taxiway. God bless the folks at OKC. They sent a food truck out with cold beverages and each aircraft got restocked. When they finally opened DFW, the 9 of us took off almost immediately. I don't know what the minimum clearance between plane takeoff's is at OKC is, but those pilots used it. My plane was the first up, and as we banked, I could see 2 behind us, 1 lifting off, and 5 more nose to tail on the taxiway. Wish I'd had a camera.
preacher1
preacher1 1
I saw something similar a couple years back at FSM. DFW was socked in and there were 4-5 ERJ's on the ground and we were told that everything from the North had been diverted somewhere. Terminal was reopened and pax were deplaned and taken care of by DAL/NWA folks which had a late nite arriving flight. They were boarding up and getting ready to leave as I landed and it was like a parade. We watched most of it from our hangar. Pilots weren't letting any grass grow as some of them were on short time also and that is how AA took them out. Wx was a long line that stretched from below DFW way up North. As it passed, it was totally clear behind. I'm just glad we got down before that run all turned loose or we may have still been holding.LOL
Foxtrot789
Foxtrot789 1
I've also had my fair share of 'waits' on the grounds of OKC while waiting for weather in Dallas to dissipate.
ldtroglin
Lisa Troglin 2
TUL is a completely logical place since it is American's primary maintenance hub. It has an extended runway, much larger than runways of equal sized airports, and 777's land there quite frequently for overhauls. Pilot knew exactly what he was doing and was lucky to have TUL so close to land.
s2v8377
s2v8377 1
TUL AA maintenance normally does not work on the 777 fleet. The TUL facility works on the MD80, 757, and 767 fleets.

Still a good diversion point, as the airline has a lot more resources available at TUL.
preacher1
preacher1 1
I think most of the 777 work is done at Alliance/Ft Worth(at least used to be) but as far as the engines go, it doesn't say the exact model of plane, but there is immense similarity in the 767 and 777 engines. A little newer but all 3 major manufacturers are available on both 767 and 777. The main differences are in whether ER versions or not, but as you say, resources galore. Lot's better than having to road trip mechanics to some place in Podunk. LOL
preacher1
preacher1 1
Any other time, they'd have had something ready to go back in service a TUL.
DerekCooks
Derek Thomas 1
Preach - I'll be curious to know what the circumstances were surrounding the failure, that they didn't just proceed to DFW. Triple 7 is certified to fly single engine for "X" distance from "safe harbors" - or do the rules state that you take 'er down at the nearest available?
tbpera
Tom Pera 2
hey, it became a single engine aircraft.. would want pilots to land at best suitable airport if I was aboard
preacher1
preacher1 1
Well, it doesn't say when they lost it or exactly what the problem was. TUL is a big mx base for AAG. As far as the post below about customs. It says they did not deplane, had to wait about 4 hours on the plane, AND, the situation was being monitored by customs. It would have to have been a serious engine problem though as they weren't but about and hour out of DFW. I'm sure TUL was in the plan as a diversion for Emergency but like I said, it would have had to have been serious. I just can't believe that as big a mx base as they have there that they had to bring a plane all the way out of DFW.
hagela
hagela 2
TUL doesn't regularly work on the 777, that's all done in Dallas
preacher1
preacher1 2
They gonna get to work on that one. I think it is still there, even if they have to bring parts out of Alliance. LOL
bbabis
Bill Babis 1
Hi preacher, Another report says that the pilots first reported engine problems over FSM. Even though they were on the arrival into DFW, TUL was closer and the mx base made it the best choice I guess.
preacher1
preacher1 1
Yeah, it ain't 100 miles to TUL from FSM, and if they were on that Jetway at FL, that would have been a quick descent at that. Still must have been pretty serious to divert that close to home though.
preacher1
preacher1 2
Yeah, and they had another 2 grand of runway to play with at TUL. If he had been at FL and went for FSM, he'd have had to made like a fighter pilot. He could have got in there OK but TUL a lot better choice.
DerekCooks
Derek Thomas 1
Paint probably wasn't quite dry on any they had at TUL...
preacher1
preacher1 1
109658
Kenneth Dechmerowski 1
How did they do a swap in TUL with customs?
djevans1717
dj evans 2
I would assume they had airport officers and custom officials standing in the terminal making sure everyone went from one plane to the other. That's what I would assume but could call and find out for sure I have a friend who is an airport officer.
preacher1
preacher1 1
I didn't know customs had anybody in TUl as no international flights in/out of there. That's why I was wondering how customs monitored it.
BaronG58
BaronG58 1
Maybe customs just happened to be there... setting up tents for our new neighbors that are flooding our boarders. 8-)
sgbelverta
sharon bias 1
Love the understatement, "taken out of service for maintenance". Goes under the "Ya think" category.
sparkie624
sparkie624 0
What is wrong with that... It is 100% accurate. The aircraft suffered a mechanical failure and is at a Maintenance Base being worked on... This is not news in any way shape or form... The Aircraft had an inflight shutdown (nothing more, nothing less), the crew followed the checklist and landed at the nearest suitable airport. No Aircraft Damage, No One was hurt, and Mechanics are fixing the aircraft "taken out of service for maintenance". Once it is repaired it will be returned to service. This is no big deal, it is a maintenance issue and nothing more.

The news media has nothing better to do than to sensationalize this and blow it out of proportion, and you are helping them do that with that kind of statement.
btweston
btweston 0
"The aircraft suffered a mechanical failure... The Aircraft had an inflight shutdown..."

That is news, friend. Stuff happens, reporters report it.
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
its news because they had nothing better... I have worked Maintenance Control for airlines for 5 years now... I have had many in flight shutdowns to deal with.. None made the news as it is not news worthy... It is nothing more than a mechanical failure on an aircraft...

They call it news, because they could not manufacture anything better.. It is still nothing more than a "Mechanical Issue" or "taken out of service for maintenance" as they said and that is all the public needs to know.

It was not like Asiana 214 crew who plastered a plane down the runway, or USAir with Capt Scully landing in the hudson.... Those were news items...
sparkie624
sparkie624 0
What is the big deal here... Putting it straight and simple... 1.) Problem with Aircraft, 2.) Crew followed the provided checklists as required, 3.) Crew Landed Safely and no lives were lost... Question.. Why is this news... So what. This kind of thing happens to other aircraft and never makes the news at all.. Guess it is either a slow news day, or the news just wanted to pick on the Triple 7.
btweston
btweston 1
A huge metal tube containing 230+ people lost fifty percent of its power while in flight.

Nope, nothing to see here.
TomHayesMP
Tom Hayes 2
Louisville, KY's airport is called "International" even though they do not have any international passenger flights due to the presence of UPS. Louisville is one of UPS' largest sorting hubs and there are daily international CARGO flights in and out.
MattHauke
Matt Hauke 0
Tulsa? The thing could have probably glided to Dallas from there. Why not just go the rest of the way on one engine? The aircraft was designed to run effectively on one engine.
xairbusdriver
Jim Smirh 1
Been retired for quite a while, but the regs and company Ops plainly stated that a loss of one engine in our mostly twin-engine fleet meant a landing at the closest suitable airport (maintenance available or not). That same rule may have applied to out three engine fleet, too long ago. We had a few four-eingine aircraft once, but I'm pretty sure the FAA allowed continued flight with three good motors on those, even back when the 707 was in use! ;-) Obviously, ETOPS certification is based on being able to fly a very long time on one engine, but that's while over water, not hundreds of suitable airports. Aviate, Navigate, Communicate, in that order. Sounds like they did exactly that.

BTW, if the passengers were upset because of the delay, they should have to fill out the forms and debriefings the cockpit crew had to suffer through! :-P
iflyrjs
terry gersdorf 0
Glide too DFW No way The only decision is to land immediately whether ETOP or not Id make the same decision
preacher1
preacher1 1
Really ain't no call to make. TUL was probably in the plan as a diversion anyway. Yeah, DFW was probably in range but no need taking chances with a full load of pax. Lot's of engine similarity and one hellacious resource base to boot. It's just strange they didn't have a 67 or something ready to go to DFW and had to bring one up from DFW, but, that's life.
pepsin
Pepsin Leung 0
Can any one tell me the aircraft Reg No. Of that AA 777 ?

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