|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||airport : zzz.airport|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 5000|
msl bound upper : 35000
|Controlling Facilities||artcc : zzz.artcc|
|Operator||common carrier : air carrier|
|Make Model Name||B767-300 and 300 ER|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 121|
|Flight Phase||climbout : intermediate altitude|
cruise : level
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : captain|
oversight : pic
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : first officer|
|Anomaly||aircraft equipment problem : less severe|
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
other flight crewb
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : declared emergency|
Immediately after takeoff out of ZZZ noticed left engine fan/N1 vibration throughout aircraft. Leveled off at 5000 ft MSL and approaching low engine RPM noticed heavy engine vibration worsened. Reduced climb power setting to a range of slow cruise power produced acceptable engine vibration levels with all other engine indications normal. At cruise altitude of FL350; left engine vibration level was just perceptible. Notified dispatch then conferenced call with maintenance. A real-time engine monitor log gave a clear picture to status of the left engine fan vibration progressively becoming worse. The fan section needed a blade balance procedure. The recourses at our destination would be inadequate so maintenance recommended we return to ZZZ to avoid an extensive down time off line of the aircraft. For operational reasons we returned to ZZZ. A coordination effort with center and ZZZ effected a safe return. ATC asked for information normally collected when you declare an emergency. I inquired and center stated they declared an emergency for our flight for special operational request. Our requests were additional spacing between our aircraft and others arriving ZZZ; to reduce the chance of a go around which might require a high power setting; along with a specific runway; the airport's longest runway. In summary; we landed on and taxied uneventfully to our assigned gate. We changed aircraft to another ship. Upon arrival ZZZ1; operations and maintenance thanked us for not flying the original ship to ZZZ1; stating the technical work required would have removed the aircraft from service for at least 3 days.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: A B767-300 RETURNED TO THE DEP ARPT WITH ENG VIBRATIONS AFTER MAINT DETERMINED A FAN BLADE BAL WAS NECESSARY.
Narrative: IMMEDIATELY AFTER TKOF OUT OF ZZZ NOTICED L ENG FAN/N1 VIBRATION THROUGHOUT ACFT. LEVELED OFF AT 5000 FT MSL AND APCHING LOW ENG RPM NOTICED HVY ENG VIBRATION WORSENED. REDUCED CLB PWR SETTING TO A RANGE OF SLOW CRUISE PWR PRODUCED ACCEPTABLE ENG VIBRATION LEVELS WITH ALL OTHER ENG INDICATIONS NORMAL. AT CRUISE ALT OF FL350; L ENG VIBRATION LEVEL WAS JUST PERCEPTIBLE. NOTIFIED DISPATCH THEN CONFERENCED CALL WITH MAINT. A REAL-TIME ENG MONITOR LOG GAVE A CLR PICTURE TO STATUS OF THE L ENG FAN VIBRATION PROGRESSIVELY BECOMING WORSE. THE FAN SECTION NEEDED A BLADE BAL PROC. THE RECOURSES AT OUR DEST WOULD BE INADEQUATE SO MAINT RECOMMENDED WE RETURN TO ZZZ TO AVOID AN EXTENSIVE DOWN TIME OFF LINE OF THE ACFT. FOR OPERATIONAL REASONS WE RETURNED TO ZZZ. A COORD EFFORT WITH CTR AND ZZZ EFFECTED A SAFE RETURN. ATC ASKED FOR INFO NORMALLY COLLECTED WHEN YOU DECLARE AN EMER. I INQUIRED AND CTR STATED THEY DECLARED AN EMER FOR OUR FLT FOR SPECIAL OPERATIONAL REQUEST. OUR REQUESTS WERE ADDITIONAL SPACING BTWN OUR ACFT AND OTHERS ARRIVING ZZZ; TO REDUCE THE CHANCE OF A GAR WHICH MIGHT REQUIRE A HIGH PWR SETTING; ALONG WITH A SPECIFIC RWY; THE ARPT'S LONGEST RWY. IN SUMMARY; WE LANDED ON AND TAXIED UNEVENTFULLY TO OUR ASSIGNED GATE. WE CHANGED ACFT TO ANOTHER SHIP. UPON ARR ZZZ1; OPS AND MAINT THANKED US FOR NOT FLYING THE ORIGINAL SHIP TO ZZZ1; STATING THE TECHNICAL WORK REQUIRED WOULD HAVE REMOVED THE ACFT FROM SVC FOR AT LEAST 3 DAYS.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of January 2009 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.