Swiss Boeing 777-300 Bound for L.A. from Zurich Makes Arctic Emergency Landing of Snowy Runway
On Feb. 1, Swiss Airlines Boeing 777-300 operating as flight LX40 from Zurich, Switzerland, to Los Angeles, California, diverted to Iqaluit, Canada, capital of Nunavut in the Canadian Northern Territories.
The diversion was caused by an engine problem that required the shut down of the engine and an emergency diversion: actually, according to a statement later released by Swiss, a malfuction message caused the engine to automatically shutdown. The crew decided to make a precautionary landing.
The selection of Iqaluit Airport (airport code: YFB) is remarkable since official sources state that Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers at this airport have only small general aviation aircraft capacity with for more than 15 passengers.
The large Boeing 777-300 can carry up to 550 passengers in its dense-capacity interior configuration.
The airport does have an 8,000 foot asphalt runway. The Airbus A380, the world’s largest passenger jet, conducted cold weather testing from Iqaluit Airport during February 2006 – its first North American visit. They were hoping to experience −25 °C (−13 °F) weather to determine the effects on cabin temperatures and engine performance. Nunavut authorities hope that the importance of these tests will put Iqaluit on the map as a centre for cold-weather testing.
A380 at Iqaluit airport.