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United Boeing 787 returns to Singapore following engine failure after take-off 

A United Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner was forced to return to Singapore Airport having reported an engine failure after take-off. The aircraft landed back in Singapore safely, following which a hole was discovered in the left engine cowling of the aircraft.  

The flight concerned was United flight UA28, operating from Singapore Changi Airport (SIN) and heading to San Francisco International Airport (SFO) on Tuesday, May 14, 2024. The flight was operated by one of United’s 38-strong fleet of Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, registration N27957.  

Flight UA28 departed Singapore at 21:36 for the 14-hour 30-minute flight to San Franciso, where it was due to land at 20:55 on May 14, 2024. The flight was carrying 197 passengers and 14 crew members onboard. The aircraft took off from Singapore’s runway 20C and headed southeast, passing over the Indonesian island of Batam before climbing to 31,000ft (9,448m) and heading eastwards over the South China Sea.  

At 22:10, just over 30 minutes after departure and with the aircraft approximately 200nm (370km) east of Singapore, the crew of flight UA28 reported to air traffic controllers in Singapore that they were having issues with the aircraft’s left engine and requested an immediate return to Changi Airport. The crew then shut down the engine in question and initiated a descent back towards Singapore. 


The aircraft made a safe landing without further incident on runway 20C at Changi, around 90 minutes after departure. There were no reported injuries among the passengers or crew. The flight to San Francisco was subsequently canceled by United, with all passengers being accommodated overnight in local hotels. 

“We’re arranging hotel accommodations and meal vouchers in Singapore for passengers, who will be rebooked on another flight departing Wednesday using a different aircraft,” read a statement issued by the airline following the incident. 

With the aircraft safely back on the ground, locally-based United engineers inspected the aircraft and its left-hand engine, upon which they discovered the hole in the engine cowling.   

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has already issued a preliminary report into the incident, stating: “The aircraft took off, but shortly after departure, experienced a #1 left engine failure and had to return to the airport. Post-flight inspection uncovered a hole in the left engine cowling and engine case, in Singapore.” 

Kevin Hackert / Shutterstock

According to Flightradar24, at the time of writing, the aircraft remains on the ground at Changi Airport some 36 hours after the incident occurred.  A hole in the cowling could suggest an uncontained engine component break-up although United has yet to disclose the full reason for the engine failure.

According to ch-aviation, the aircraft concerned is 8.8 years old, having been delivered new to the airline by Boeing in August 2015. The aircraft is currently configured for 257 passengers in a three-class configuration, comprising 48 passengers in business class, 21 in premium economy, and 188 in economy. 

The post United Boeing 787 returns to Singapore following engine failure after take-off  appeared first on AeroTime.

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