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Jetstar 787-8 suffers “abnormal engine behaviour” enroute to Osaka: ATSB

written by | April 4, 2019
A file image of Jetstar Australia and New Zealand Boeing 787-8 VH-VKJ. (Seth Jaworski)
A file image of Jetstar Australia and New Zealand Boeing 787-8 VH-VKJ. (Seth Jaworski)

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) says it is helping the Japan Transport Safety Board (JTSB) investigate a loss of engine power on a Jetstar Boeing 787-8 flying from Cairns to Osaka Kansai.

The incident on board flight JQ15, operated by 787-8 VH-VKJ, occurred on March 29 2019, when the aircraft was approaching Osaka Kansai airport, a statement on the ATSB website said.

The ATSB described the event as an “abnormal engine behaviour occurrence” and a serious incident.


“At approximately 15,000 feet during descent into Kansai International Airport, Osaka, Japan, the flight crew received an engine thrust warning on the number 2 engine, which subsequently started to surge,” the ATSB statement said.

“The crew then received an engine fail indication on the number 1 engine, without any shift in parameters indicating any engine power loss.

“That warning was followed by an engine fail warning on the number 2 engine. The number 2 engine auto relight activated and the engine continued to surge during the descent.”

The ATSB said it had been nominated as an accredited representative to the JTSB investigation.


A notification of the incident on the JSTB website said the aircraft was about 90km (or 49nm) southwest of Osaka Kansai airport and at an altitude of 3,600m (or 11,800ft) when Number 2 engine became unstable, followed shortly afterwards by the both engines experiencing a temporary decrease of engine thrust.

Data from flight tracking website Flightaware showed VH-VKJ was still in Osaka as of Thursday morning, April 4 2019, with the JQ16 return flight to Cairns on March 29 cancelled.

Jetstar Australia and New Zealand has 11 787-8s, with VH-VKJ delivered in 2015. The fleet is powered by General Electric GEnx-1B64 engines.

The aircraft are configured with 335 seats in a two-class layout comprising 21 seats in business and 314 in economy.

Jetstar said in a statement on Wednesday both engines continued to operate at all times and there was no emergency or priority landing declared.

“Our pilots received an alert indicating engine fluctuations on approach into Osaka,” the statement said.

“During this time both engines continued to operate and our pilots followed procedures, landing the flight normally.”

“We are working with authorities to investigate the cause of the fluctuations.”

Jetstar said passengers booked on the return JQ16 were moved onto alternate flights.

The ATSB said the investigation was expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2020.

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  • Mirko


    If it is Boing – I am not going!

  • Lester C. Payne


    “The ATSB said it had been nominated as an accredited representative to the JTSB investigation.”
    Just what does this rubbish mean? Who in ATSB “said” and by whom was the nomination made?

    • Ross Le Bris


      The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has placed a representative on the case veing conducted by the Japan Transport Safety Bureau. ……..

  • PR department


    Is there a reluctance to declare a pan (emergency or priority landing as quoted)? Even though the aircraft was probably already sequenced to land. At least someone else knows that there may be further issues, or atc may hold a departing aircraft in front to prevent a go around. Given both engines had issues, and while I don’t know the facts of the extent of the issue, surely declaring a pan would have been prudent. Or is this just PR talk?

  • Mike


    As I write it is now 16th April and VH-VKJ still doesn’t appear to have departed Osaka. Is there any further information about this incident? It is good to know that when safety is concerned, the aircraft is not hurriedly returned to service. Jetstar will be “down” one large capacity aircraft during the Easter holiday period.

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