The latest version of Boeing’s 787 (GEnx-1B PIP 2) General Electric engines has a problem. In late January, at just over 20,000 feet (6,000 metres), one of the two engines of a Japan Airlines 787 en route from Vancouver to Tokyo, quite simply, stopped - and could not be restarted. The other, older version, General Electric engine continued to operate normally, and the plane landed safely in Tokyo on only one engine.
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has determined the cause of the incident. Ice shed from the fan blades, caused the blades to rub against the fan case, resulting in engine vibration and its shutdown.
As the Boeing 787 can alternatively be equipped with Rolls Royce engines, only 176 aircraft of the 393 delivered are affected by this problem.
In order to remedy the problem, General Electric has to shave one tenth of an inch (0.25 cm) of the abradable seal material around the interior of the fan case. An operation which takes 16 hours and has already been carried out on 40 engines. 29 airlines have until 1 October to comply with the FAA directive. By then, the FAA has established revised Fan Ice Removal Procedure for pilots.