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From Engine Problem To Bird Strike, All 11 Times This April That Boeing 737-800 Could Have Crashed

On Sunday, March 10, 2019, an Ethiopian Airlines flight took off from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia en to route Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, but crashed just six minutes later, killing 149 passengers and eight crew members aboard.

The incident was the second of the kind involving the same model of aircraft. A previous incident occurred on October 29, 2018, when a Boeing 737 Max 8 crashed in Indonesia after 12 minutes in the air, killing the 189 people on board. This time, the tragedy led to a shutdown on Boeing 737 Max by a host of countries.
What many don’t know, though, is that there have been a series of scares, according to aviation tracking website The Aviation Herald, involving one other Boeing model, the 737-800, since the March 10 incident, some of which are profiled below:

April 03, Amsterdam, Netherlands

A Transavia Boeing 737-800, registration PH-HZL performing flight HV-6109 from Amsterdam (Netherlands) to Malaga, SP (Spain), had just levelled off at FL350 about 100nm south of Amsterdam in the vicinity of Brussels (Belgium) when the crew decided to return to Amsterdam after consulting with dispatch and maintenance over a problem with the equipment cooling. The aircraft landed safely back on Amsterdam's runway 18R about 55 minutes after departure.

The aircraft remained on the ground for about 1.5 hours, then departed again and reached Malaga with a delay of 2.5 hours.

April 04, Vancouver, Canada

A United Boeing 737-800, registration N76519 performing flight UA-618 from Vancouver, BC (Canada) to San Francisco, CA (USA), was en route at FL390 about 230nm north of Sacramento, CA (USA) when the crew decided to divert to Sacramento due to an engine (CFM56) problem. The aircraft landed safely in Sacramento about 45 minutes later.

The remainder of the flight was cancelled. The aircraft remained on the ground in Sacramento for about 9 hours, then positioned to San Francisco.

April 05, Cologne, Germany

An Eurowings Boeing 737-800, registration D-ABMV performing flight EW-592 from Cologne (Germany) to Palma Mallorca, SP (Spain) with 152 people on board, was climbing to FL370 out of Cologne about 90nm southwest of Cologne when the crew stopped the climb at about FL368 and initiated a rapid descent to FL250 due to a wheel well indication.

The aircraft returned to Cologne for a safe landing about 55 minutes after departure. A replacement Airbus A319-100 registration D-AGWO reached Palma Mallorca with a delay of seven hours. The occurrence aircraft was still on the ground about 11.5 hours after landing.

April 05, Hamburg, Germany

A Eurowings Boeing 737-800, registration D-ABKN performing flight EW-7520 from Hamburg (Germany) to Barcelona, SP (Spain) with 174 people on board, was en route at FL370 about 30nm southwest of Stuttgart (Germany) when the crew decided to turn around and divert to Hanover (Germany) due to a failed instrument display. The aircraft landed safely in Hanover about 90 minutes after departure.

The plane was replaced, and it departed again after about 2 hours on the ground and reached Barcelona with a delay of about 3.5 hours.

April 06, Bagdogra, India

A Spicejet Boeing 737-800, registration VT-SGH performing flight SG-462 from Bagdogra to Chennai (India), was climbing out of Bagdogra in thunderstorms when the aircraft received some hail strike. The crew continued the climb to FL380 and continued to Chennai for a safe landing.

The occurrence aircraft returned to service about 42 hours after landing.

April 07, Chago, USA

A United Boeing 737-800, registration N27205 performing flight UA-848 from Chicago O'Hare, IL to Orlando, FL (USA), was climbing out of Chicago's runway 09R when the crew stopped the climb at 15,000 feet, reporting they were unable to retract the landing gear.

They would maintain 250 KIAS and would return to Chicago. The aircraft landed safely back on Chicago's runway 28C about one hour after departure.

A replacement Boeing 737-800 registration N35236 eventually reached Orlando with a delay of 2.5 hours.

April 07 Tenerife, Spain

A Ryanair Boeing 737-800, registration EI-EMA performing flight FR-654 from Tenerife Sur Reina Sofia,CI (Spain) to Glasgow Prestwick,SC (UK), was climbing out of Tenerife's runway 07 when the the captain stopped the climb at FL250 after the first officer had become ill and became incapacitated. The captain returned the aircraft to Tenerife Sur Sofia Reina for a safe landing on runway 07 about 45 minutes after departure.

The aircraft remained on the ground for about 2 hours, then departed again with a replacement first officer and reached Prestwick with a delay of 2:40 hours. The airline reported the first officer became ill shortly after departure, the captain returned the aircraft to Tenerife where medical services took care of the first officer.

April 07, Miami, USA

An American Airlines Boeing 737-800, registration N810NN performing flight AA-318 from Miami, FL (USA) to Saint Kitts (Saint Kitts and Nevis) with 166 people on board, was in the initial climb out of Miami's runway 08R when the aircraft received a bird strike prompting the crew to stop the climb at about 5000 feet and return to Miami for a safe landing on runway 09 about 12 minutes after departure.

The FAA reported the aircraft received unknown damage, there were no injuries. A replacement Boeing 737-800 registration N894NN reached Saint Kitts with a delay of 3.5 hours.

April 08, Singapore

A Biman Bangladesh Boeing 737-800, registration S2-AHV performing flight BG-85 from Singapore (Singapore) to Dhaka (Bangladesh) with 99 people on board, was enroute at FL380 about 140nm southeast of Chittagong (Bangladesh) when the crew decided to divert to Chittagong due to the failure of the left hand engine (CFM56).

The aircraft landed safely on Chittagong's runway 05 about 40 minutes later. The occurrence aircraft was still on the ground in Chittagong about 10 hours after landing.

April 9, Frankurt, Germany

A TuiFly Boeing 737-800, registration D-ATYI performing flight X3-6102 from Frankfurt/Main (Germany) to Hurghada (Egypt), was en route at FL350 near Podgorica (Montenegro) when NATO command launched two Italian fighter aircraft (Eurofighters) to intercept and identify the aircraft, that was not in contact with ATC at that time.

The fighter aircraft intercepted the Boeing, identified the aircraft, and the Boeing crew was able to restore contact with ATC after which the fighter aircraft returned to their base. The Boeing continued to Hurghada for a safe landing about 2:40 hours later.

Italy's Air Force reported they were dispatched by NATO Command to intercept a TuiFly Boeing over Montenegro, which had lost radio contact with ATC.

April 09, Petrozavodsk, Russia

A Pobeda Boeing 737-800, registration VP-BPS performing flight DP-281 from Moscow Vnukovo to Petrozavodsk (Russia), was on final approach to Petrozavodsk's runway 19 when a dog "occupied" the runway prompting the crew to initiate a go around. The aircraft positioned for another approach and landed safely on runway 19 about 12 minutes later after the dog had been removed from the aerodrome.

The Ministry of Transport of Karelia, responsible for the airport operations, opened an investigation into the occurrence.

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