50+ Passengers Injured After Sudden Drop On LATAM Boeing 787 From Sydney

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Summary

  • A LATAM Airlines Boeing 787-9 suffered technical issue, which resulted in a reported mid-flight drop.
  • The aircraft landed safely in Auckland, New Zealand, with 50 passengers having been assesed and treated on the ground.
  • Boeing delivered the aircraft in 2015, with LATAM Airlines operating a total of 35 Boeing 787s, including 25 787-9 aircraft.

At least 50 passengers were injured onboard a LATAM Airlines flight between Sydney, Australia, and Auckland, New Zealand, as the aircraft had suffered a technical malfunction during the fifth-freedom flight. Still, the Boeing 787-9 landed safely at its destination.

Boeing 787 technical problem

The New Zealand Herald, quoting a LATAM Airlines’ representative, reported that the Boeing 787-9, registered as CC-BGG, suffered a technical problem mid-flight, with the aircraft landing at Auckland Airport (AKL) as scheduled.

In a statement to Simple Flying, a Hato Hone St John ambulance services representative said that it had responded to an incident with an inbound aircraft AKL. The service deployed 14 units, including seven ambulances, two operation managers, two Major Incident Support Team vehicles, one Command Unit, and two rapid response vehicles.

Our ambulance crews assessed and treated approximately 50 patients, with one patient in a serious condition and the remainder in a moderate to minor condition. Twelve patients were transported to hospital – 10 were taken to Middlemore Hospital, including one patient in a serious condition, one patient was transported to Auckland City Hospital in a moderate condition, and one patient was taken to Starship Hospital in a moderate condition.”

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Mid-flight drop

The New Zealand Herald also shared a testimony from a passenger who was onboard flight LA800, saying that the LATAM Airlines aircraft suffered a quick drop during the 2 hours and 42-minute itinerary between Sydney Airport (SYD) and AKL.

Looking at Flightradar24 data, the aircraft departed SYD at 11:44 (UTC +11) local time and was scheduled to arrive at AKL at 16:35 (UTC +13), arriving at its destination nine minutes earlier than expected. During the flight, the flight crew never squawked 7700, the general code for emergency.

A LATAM Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner registration CC-BGL

Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

However, the LATAM Airlines spokesperson did not detail the nature of the technical issue to the New Zealander publication. Currently, the Boeing 787-9 is scheduled to depart AKL for Santiago International Airport (SCL) at 18:40 local time, according to Flightradar24 schedules.

Another LATAM Airlines Boeing 787-9, registered as CC-BGL, has departed SCL and will arrive at AKL at 6:33. From there, it will continue flying to SYD before operating a return flight between the two countries and going back to Santiago, Chile.

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Eight-year-old 787-9

According to ch-aviation data, Boeing delivered the 787-9 to LATAM Airlines on December 16, 2015, 13 days after the aircraft’s first flight. The jet, powered by two Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines, has accumulated 23,650 flight hours (FH) and 3,562 flight cycles (FC) since it was delivered, as of December 31, 2023. The site’s data also showed that the Chile-based airline group, which has several subsidiaries across Latin America, operates a fleet of 35 Boeing 787s, split between ten 787-8 and 25 787-9 aircraft.

LATAM Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner CC-BGM

Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

At the end of 2023, LATAM Airlines announced that it was ordering five more Boeing 787 aircraft, making it the largest operator of the type in the continent since its total order book has 46 Boeing 787s. However, while all of its current 787s are powered by the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000, the airline group said that the five it had ordered and the next 787 aircraft it will receive will be equipped with the General Electric (GE) Aerospace GEnx engines, marking a switch of engine manufacturers, which power its 787 fleet.

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