United Airlines plane makes emergency landing in New Jersey

Northeast

FILE – In this July 18, 2018, file photo, United Airlines commercial jets sit at a gate at Terminal C of Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

(NewsNation) — A United Airlines plane had to make an emergency landing just moments after taking off at Newark Liberty Airport in New Jersey.

The Boeing 777-200ER plane, which left for São Paulo, Brazil, late Wednesday night, suffered a hydraulic failure that sent a “shower of sparks” and debris flying off the aircraft, according to The Daily Mail.

About an hour and a half later, the plane did land safely at Newark Airport, but only after dumping fuel over the ocean to reduce its weight, the news outlet said.

No casualties or injuries among the 279 crew and passengers on board were reported. The Federal Aviation Administration has announced that all Boeing 777s with Pratt & Whitney PW4070 engines are going to be grounded until further notice, The Daily Mail reported.

“After our aircraft experienced a mechanical issue shortly after takeoff, it remained in the air to burn fuel and then landed safely. Passengers deplaned at the gate and a new aircraft is scheduled to depart this morning,” United said in a statement to NewsNation.

The plane that made the landing was delivered to United in 1997. A Boeing 777’s average lifespan is around 30 years.

This isn’t the first time this has happened. In February 2021, a Boeing 777 flying to Honolulu suffered an engine failure, which caused it to also shower debris and make an emergency landing in Denver, Reuters reported. No one was injured in that incident, either, but the jets were cleared to fly again by the FAA in May.

According to Reuters, earlier this week, United removed 25 of its Boeing 777-200 airplanes from service after discovering it had failed to perform required inspections on the wing leading-edge panels.

Reuters contributed to this story.

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