Passenger jet diverts to Shannon as system fails
A passenger jet had to burn off thousands of litres of fuel before it could safely land in Shannon after suffering a navigation systems failure.
US Airways flight AWE-711 was travelling from Zurich in Switzerland to Philadelphia in the US and was about 200km west of the Clare Coast when the problem emerged.
Shortly after 1.40pm yesterday the pilot contacted air traffic controllers in Shannon to inform them that he had no navigation systems. He told them he would have to abort crossing the Atlantic and divert to the airport.
The crew of the Boeing 767-200 made a U-turn and routed back towards the Clare coast, where they entered a holding pattern in an effort to burn off excess fuel. This was to ensure the jet could land within safe landing weight limits.
After spending over an hour circling over the Atlantic off the Clare coast the flight landed safely at Shannon shortly before 3pm.
The flight was later cancelled while the 110 passengers and crew were accommodated in hotels in Limerick and Clare last night. They were due to return to Shannon early today to continue their journey to the US.
It was the third time this month that a US Airways flight had to divert to an Irish airport – with crew members falling ill on two recent flights.