Aviation safety investigations & reports

Engine failure involving Boeing 787, 9V-OJE, Perth Airport, Western Australia, on 11 October 2018

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed
Phase: Final report: Dissemination Read more information on this investigation phase

Final Report

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[Download  PDF: 348KB]

What happened

On 11 October 2018, a Boeing 787-9, 9V-OJE, operated by Scoot Tigerair (Scoot), departed Singapore on a scheduled flight to Perth, Western Australia. During descent, the flight crew noticed that the right engine was slow to respond to commands, and its performance continued to decline throughout the descent. While passing through 9,000 ft, severe thrust asymmetry developed, and the engine shut down shortly afterwards. The crew followed appropriate procedures, and due to the proximity of the airport, elected not to attempt a restart. The aircraft landed safely with emergency services in attendance. There were no injuries sustained and no aircraft damage as a result of the incident.

What the ATSB found

The ATSB determined that following a series of engine status and alert messages, 9V-OJE experienced an uncommanded engine shutdown while on descent into Perth, before landing safely using the operational engine.

Based on a review of the flight data and an examination of engine components by Rolls-Royce, the engine shutdown was due to debris from worn journal bearings in the engine’s secondary high-pressure fuel pump blocking an inlet filter for the fuel metering valve servo assembly. This prevented the valve from delivering sufficient fuel to the engine.

Rolls-Royce also determined that, between late 2018 and early 2019, the operator’s fleet of 787 aircraft had been particularly susceptible to low‑life wear in the journal bearings of the secondary high‑pressure fuel pump. It identified a number of potential factors that led to the component wear but, due to the number of variables, a single/dominant reason could not be established.

What has been done as a result

Rolls-Royce updated its Fault Isolation Manual to instruct all operators to remove the fuel pump and hydro-mechanical unit in the event of a maintenance message regarding the fuel metering valve not being in the commanded position. Rolls-Royce is also monitoring maintenance messages and investigating the possibility of using flight data to detect fuel pump journal wear before its effects on valve operation become apparent.

Safety message

This occurrence highlights the importance of flight crew being familiar with emergency procedures, so that the appropriate corrective action can be taken quickly and effectively. In this case, the flight crew worked effectively to assess the situation, and took appropriate action to minimise risk in accordance with the operator’s flight crew operations manual.

This occurrence also shows that positively identifying the factors contributing to technical failures can be difficult and time consuming. However, manufacturers and operators can implement interim risk mitigation measures, as was the case here.

Download final report
[Download  PDF: 348KB]

The investigation

General details
Date: 11 October 2018   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 0710 AWST   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Perth Airport   Investigation phase: Final report: Dissemination  
State: Western Australia   Occurrence type: Engine failure or malfunction  
Release date: 01 December 2020   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  
Anticipated completion: 4th Quarter 2020    

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer The Boeing Company  
Aircraft model 787-900  
Serial number 37116  
Operator Scoot  
Type of operation Air Transport High Capacity  
Sector Jet  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Singapore  
Destination Perth, WA  
Last update 03 December 2020