Air Canada Flight's Emergency Return to London Heathrow After Tire Incident
In a recent aviation incident, an Air Canada Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner experienced a significant issue shortly after departing from London Heathrow Airport. The aircraft, operating Flight AC-856 to Mumbai, was forced to make an emergency return to Heathrow following reports of smoke seen during takeoff and a subsequent discovery of a brake fault and a blown tire.
According to simpleflying, the situation unfolded as the Boeing 787-9, registered as C-FGDZ, took off from London Heathrow. The control tower reported observing smoke during the aircraft's take-off. Simultaneously, the cockpit crew was alerted to two flat tires, raising immediate concerns about the aircraft's safety. This notification was made possible by the Engine Indicating and Crew Alerting System (EICAS), a sophisticated system that provides real-time data on various aspects of the aircraft, including tire temperatures and pressures.
Making a cautious decision, the pilots opted to return to Heathrow. This choice was influenced by the presence of smoke reported by the control tower and the EICAS system indicating a fault on the fifth brake and zero pressure in the corresponding tire. Notably, the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner is equipped with ten tires - two on the front landing gear and four on each of the two main landing gear assemblies.
Upon the aircraft's safe return and landing at Heathrow, emergency response teams conducted a pre-gate inspection. Additionally, the active runway was examined for any debris, a standard procedure due to the risk of foreign object debris (FOD).
The subsequent maintenance check revealed significant damage to the number 5 wheel assembly, including a burst tire and faults related to the anti-skid, auto brake, and brake number 5 systems. Maintenance teams replaced wheels number 5 and number 6 to address these issues.
This incident highlights the importance of robust safety systems and the expertise of flight crews in handling unexpected situations. The decision to return to Heathrow, made by the Air Canada pilots, was validated by the maintenance findings. Flight records from Flightradar24 show that the aircraft, C-FGDZ, resumed its long-haul operations for Air Canada, following a thorough inspection and repair. This event serves as a reminder of the intricate safety measures and professional judgments that are integral to modern aviation.