The winter that never ends: Airline sues over Logan snowbank during the winter of 2015

Lufthansa says Massport owes it at least $2.8 million for a 747 engine heavily damaged when it sucked in a good part of a snowbank next to a taxiway at Logan Airport in 2015.

In a suit filed last week in US District Court, the German airline says Massport failed in its responsibilities to keep taxiways and runways free of obstacles and wants a judge to order the authority to repay it for the cost of replacing the destroyed engine - which included flying the plane without passengers to Germany to be checked out after a replacement engine was ferried to Logan - along with the cost of putting up passengers, interest and any other penalties a jury finds suitable.

Lufthansa acknowledges that flight LH 423 moved towards a runway bound for Frankfurt on the evening of Feb. 9, 2015, as Yet Another Snowstorm was winding down, but says Massport should have done a better job of snow removal and that it failed to comply with FAA regulations requiring that planes be able to taxi and take off without hitting anything.

In its complaint, Lufthansa says the rightmost engine on the plane hit a snowbank on the right side, and the rightmost engine "shoveled" in "a large amount of snow and/or ice, causing it to shut down," and forcing the cancellation of the flight.

Lufthansa says it was forced to put up passengers for the night. And then it had to ferry in a replacement engine and fly the plane and old engine to a repair hanger in Germany, where technicians found the engine needed extensive repairs - 38 fan blades had to be replaced and the engine core was contaminated with "granulate material."


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PDF icon Complete Lufthansa complaint609.79 KB


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Airports have an obligation to clear runways and taxiways from snow, ice, etc.
If Massport declared runways/taxiways "open", that amounts to a declaration that they met established standards. And, occasionally, the FAA fines airports for not meeting those standards.
Interested to see how this turns out.

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That is fair.

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That is fair.

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Yes, but ...

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A plane with an engine out cannot be dispatched (permitted to depart).
There many items that, if they fail in flight, do not require an immediate landing.

It's an entirely different matter to dispatch an aircraft with a critical item inoperative.
An engine is as critical as it gets.

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Then when they went back to

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Then when they went back to park at the gate, they moved a broken lawn chair out of the way and found their tires slashed in the morning.

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I spent 4 hours shoveling that gate space out, so it was mine until March!

Also, it wasn't a lawn chair, it was a broken toilet. Get your facts straight.

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