Scoot flight turns back to Changi soon after take-off

The incident is the latest in a string of flight disruptions to hit Scoot because of technical issues with its B-787 fleet. Since Nov 26, there have been about 10 major disruptions which have led to delays of up to 56 hours for affected passengers.
The incident is the latest in a string of flight disruptions to hit Scoot because of technical issues with its B-787 fleet. Since Nov 26, there have been about 10 major disruptions which have led to delays of up to 56 hours for affected passengers.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Melbourne-bound plane returns after pilots discover fault with its weather radar component

In the latest operational hiccup to hit Scoot, a Singapore-Melbourne flight which left Changi Airport yesterday morning had to make a U-turn shortly after take-off.

Flight TR24, which departed at 11am, was forced to return 48 minutes into the flight after pilots discovered a fault with the aircraft's weather radar component.

Confirming the incident, a Scoot spokesman told The Straits Times that the Boeing 787 landed safely in Singapore at 12.49pm.

Affected customers were provided with meals while the fault was rectified. The plane eventually departed at about 6pm, she said.

As a result of the disruption, the return flight from Melbourne, TR25, was retimed to depart today at 7.30am local time instead of its original timing at 10.30pm local time yesterday.

Affected passengers were informed of the change in advance via e-mail and SMS, the airline said.

The incident is the latest in a string of flight disruptions that have hit Scoot because of technical issues with its B-787 fleet.

Since Nov 26, there have been about 10 major disruptions which have led to delays of up to 56 hours for affected passengers.

Scoot, the budget arm of Singapore Airlines, is one of several carriers hit by a series of engine glitches that have affected Rolls-Royce's Trent 1000, which powers the B-787s.

The turbine blades inside the Trent 1000 "package C" engines are corroding and cracking at a quicker-than-expected rate.

In April last year, the Federal Aviation Administration of the United States gave notice that B-787s fitted with the Rolls-Royce engine cannot operate more than 140 minutes away from an airport they can divert to in an emergency - down from 330 minutes before.

This was after the European Aviation Safety Agency ordered additional maintenance checks on the Trent 1000.

Scoot, which has 18 B-787s, has at least one plane grounded at any one time. Rolls-Royce has promised that the problem will be fixed, but experts caution that this could take many months.

Like many other budget airlines that operate with tight schedules and limited resources, including aircraft spare parts, the technical issues have led to significant delays for Scoot travellers, many of whom felt Scoot could have done a much better job taking care of their needs while they were stranded.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 09, 2019, with the headline 'Scoot flight turns back to Changi soon after take-off'. Print Edition | Subscribe