Monday, January 14, 2013

► ASCENSION ISLAND: Delta Airlines 777 enroute from Joburg to Atlanta diverts following engine trouble.

Delta AirlinesA Delta Airlines (DL) Boeing 777-200LR (MSN 29742 | N705DN) en-route from Johannesburg ORTIA, South Africa to Atlanta, USA on Wednesday 9 January 2013, was forced to divert to Georgetown, Ascension Island in the Atlantic Ocean following the failure of its starboard engine.

DL201 diversion to Ascension Island
DL201 diversion to Ascension Island (Great Circle Mapper)
According to press reports, DL201 had departed Johannesburg at 20h58L and had on board 269 adults, five children and 15 crew.

Passengers reported that six hours after take off, a "strange noise was heard from the right side engine, following which the aircraft began to lose height." The aircraft thereafter entered a holding pattern over Ascension Island before coming in for a safe landing at 01h25L.

The Aviation Herald states that a replacement Boeing 777-200LR (MSN 32222 | N703DN) was dispatched to Ascension Island to pick up the stranded passengers. Operating as flight DAL-9978, it landed in Atlanta as flight DL-201A at 02h28L with a delay of 20.5 hours.

As of Thursday, N705DN was still on the island.

Ascension Island is an isolated volcanic island in the equatorial waters of the South Atlantic Ocean, around 1,600 kilometres (1,000 mi) from the coast of Africa and 2,250 kilometres (1,400 mi) from the coast of South America. It is the site of a Royal Air Force base, RAF Ascension Island, with a United States Air Force presence. Ordinarily, the airport there is closed to commercial traffic.