According to a United station engineer at Melbourne Airport, the B747-400 had a steering problem right after turning off runway 27. Apparently as the Captain tried to correct the turn, by turning right, the momentum of the B747 saw it virtually slide off the taxiway onto the grass & thats where it stayed.
Also have just heard that two of the air bags used to lift the big Boeing off the dirt split as the B747 was being raised, sending it back further into the soft ground.........(fell so far back into the soft ground it nearly ended back in LAX
So it appears it will be there for quite a while, lots of lights, cranes & activity there as I drove past an hour or so ago.
United always have reasonable loads out of Melbourne, however it is the continuation of UA815 & the start of UA816 which has to go via Sydney now. United have stated they have no plans to change their Australian services & I presume that means UA815/816 as well? UA
were the first to fly non-stop to/from Melbourne to LAX
& onto JFK
some years back!
My understanding of the crew is that they arrive in Sydney on UA815, have 48 hours layover in Sydney, then crew to Melbourne & back on UA815/816, have a further 24 hours rest in Syd, then depart again for LAX
. Certainly when UA841/842 was operated from LAX
for many years this was the way the crew operated it & I presume the Sydney service is no different!
Cheers - BZF