Dublin-bound flight from Washington forced to burn off fuel for four hours before returning to airport due to 'maintenance issue'
A DUBLIN-bound flight from Washington DC was forced to turn around due to a maintenance issue.
United Airlines flight UA126 departed Washington Dulles airport at 10.20pm last night.
The flight was forced to turn around over the northeastern coast of the US, after the pilot told passengers the plane was experiencing an 'instrument malfunction'.
However the plane was forced into a holding pattern for four hours to burn off fuel before landing, a witness told Independent.ie.
The Boeing 757-200 aircraft had 164 passengers and nine crew on board.
It landed safely at around 4.30am local time.
"The pilot and flight crew were brilliant and the passengers well behaved and resigned to their fate", the witness said.
"Loads of young teenagers on board were incredibly well behaved", they added.
The plane was carrying a group of Irish scientists returning from an event in the city.
A spokesperson for United Airlines told Independent.ie: "Our team at Washington Dulles is providing our customers with meals and hotel accommodation.
"The aircraft is scheduled to depart Washington Dulles on this evening at 6pm and is expected to arrive in Dublin at 4:55am local time on March 19th.
"We apologise to our customers for the inconvenience caused."