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FAA orders engine icing fixes for GEnx-powered Boeing 787 Dreamliners
23 April 2016
The incident aircraft, JA822J at Vancouver, 18 April 2015 (photo: Eric Salard / CC:by-sa)

The incident aircraft, JA822J at Vancouver, 18 April 2015 (photo: Eric Salard / CC:by-sa)

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a new airworthiness directive (AD) to reduce the likelihood of engine damage due to fan ice shedding on certain Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft powered by GEnx-1B engines.

On March 14, 2016, the FAA already issued AD 2016-06-08 which was prompted by an incident on 29 January 2016.
A Japan Airlines Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, operating as JL17 from Vancouver, Canada to Tokyo/Narita, Japan, was at 140 km east of Narita when the No.2 engine had to be shut down.
Partial fan ice shedding resulted in fan imbalance that in turn caused substantial damage to the engine and an in-flight non-restartable power loss. The engine involved was a General Electric GEnx-1B()/P2.
The engine damage appears to be a result of susceptibility to heavy fan blade rubs common to the GEnx-1B PIP2 engine. The other engine on the event airplane was an older design GEnx-1B PIP1 configuration that incurred expected wear and minor damage during the icing event and continued to operate normally. The event occurred in icing conditions at an altitude of 20,000 feet.
The urgency of this issue stems from the safety concern over continued safe flight and landing for airplanes that are powered by two GEnx-1B PIP2 engines operating in a similar environment to the event airplane. In this case both GEnx-1B PIP2 engines may be similarly damaged and unable to be restarted in flight. The potential for common cause failure of both engines in flight is an urgent safety issue.

This AD (AD 2016-08-12) requires revising the AFM to provide the flight crew a revised fan ice removal procedure and a new associated mandatory flight crew briefing to reduce the likelihood of engine damage due to fan ice shedding. For an airplane with two GEnx-1B PIP2 engines having specified model and part numbers, this AD also requires reworking or replacing at least one engine.

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