UPS’s 747 Freighter Air Returned After Departure due to Significant Engine Fire

A Boeing 747-8 freighter has conducted an air return to Hong Kong International airport after an engine fire upon departure on 20 July. The aircraft has successfully landed with no casualties.

N624UP, delivered to UPS on November 2020, was serving under flight number 5X003 for its first sector to Dubai international airport, transiting there for the next sector Cologne, Germany.

The subject aircraft was climbing out of runway 07R via PECA1A, the standard departure route. Engine No.1 exceeded its EGT ( Exhaust Gas Temperature) limits, triggering the master warning of an Engine fire. The crew continued the climb to 5000ft, Hong Kong’s initial altitude and following radar vectors instructions by Air Traffic Controller. Rescue and Fire Fighting Services were also notified and dispatched to Runway 07L for the arrival.

The Engine out route for 5X 003 returning to Hong Kong after Engine No.1 fire.
| © Google

The Standard Abnormal procedure of Engine Fire has also been initiated. The crew cut off fuel flow for Engine No.1 and discharge all two sets of fire extinguishing agents. However, the action could not put the fire out, and the fire indication was still active. Therefore the overweight landing was required instead of the usual practice of fuel jettisons, and holding for fuel burn were not required. ( According to the source, the aircraft weighed approximately 426 tons, about 70 tonnes over the typical maximum landing weight for 747-8F, 350 tonnes).

Subject aircraft was under fire fighting after the aircraf into a complte stop. Photo source: DimSum Daily
| © Google/Redmi Note

The aircraft landed safely in Hong Kong at 12:30 ( 0430z). The Rescue and fire fighting services scrambled and activate the fire fighting procedures and successfully put out the fire shortly after the aircraft stopped. No casualty and emergency evacuation were needed. The crew was picked up by the ground handling agent after leaving the plane. The aircraft was towed later to the HAECO Hanger for further maintenance and departed on 21 JUL for the same routing.

What do you think of this upsetting event? Let us know below. 

Picture from ground respondent, could see the thrust reversers valves has deployed and the trace of fire extinguishing foam. Source: DimSum Daily
| © Google/Redmi Note
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Michael Cheng
Michael Cheng
Aviation Reporter - Based in Hong Kong, Michael is an Aviation Journalist here at Travel Radar, covering industry insights across Asia as well as international technical development within the industry. With the solid experience in airline ground operations, Michael is currently a Quality Assurance and Compliance Monitoring Officer with a large ground-operations company. In his spare time, Michael is an avid flight-simulation fan, serving in a senior marketing role for a large multiplayer server. Alongside this, he makes regular appearances at workshops and conferences across the aviation industry


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