Wednesday 22 October 2014

Transatlantic jet forced to divert to Dublin twice after emergency calls

Pat Flynn

Published 03/07/2014 | 17:47

The flight was forced to divert to Dublin twice after emergency calls

A transatlantic jet that was forced to divert to Dublin today declared a second emergency shortly after resuming its journey.

American Airlines AA-55 was over the Irish Sea en route from Manchester to Chicago when the crew declared an emergency at around 11.30am today.

The crew reported they wished to divert and land in Dublin after a pressurisation issue developed on board the Boeing 767-300 jet.

While the crew declared an emergency, it wasn't as a result of the technical issue but because they would have to carry out an 'overweight' landing.

One of the issues of concern for such landings is that an aircraft's braking system and undercarriage can catch fire as a result.

Airport crash took up positions alongside the runway and quickly set off in pursuit of the jet once it had landed safely. Emergency vehicles remained with the aircraft until it reached the terminal building where engineers were waiting to inspect the problem.

The flight resumed its journey at 4.15pm but soon afterwards the crew declared a second emergency and requested to return to Dublin. The pilot told controllers they had the same pressurisation issue that they had for the first diversion.

The jet touched down safely again at 4.50pm and was met by emergency services. The flight was expected to be cancelled.

Meanwhile, an Aer Lingus flight was forced to return to Dublin after experiencing a bird strike after take-off.

Flight EI-742 had just departed Dublin at around 12.30pm and was en route to Santiago in Spain with 108 passengers when the crew first alerted air traffic controllers to a potential problem.

The crew advised controllers that they believed they could have an engine problem following a suspected bird strike. The crew told controllers they wished to stop their climb and investigate the issue.

Soon afterwards, the pilot issued a PAN PAN distress call and confirmed that there was a problem with one of the jet's engines.

The flight routed back to Dublin where it landed safely a short time later. Airport emergency services were on 'local standby' for the incident.

The pilot reported that they believed they had sustained damage to an engine and that they could feel a 'vibration'.

Several aircraft had been placed in holding patterns while the emergency aircraft returned to the airport. One Ryanair flight diverted to Shannon as a result of the delay. The flight returned to Dublin after taking on fuel.

The airline confirmed: "Aer Lingus flight EI-742 from Dublin to Santiago, 12:30 departure, suffered a bird strike on take-off. The aircraft returned to Dublin and landed safely. There were 108 passengers on board."

"Passengers disembarked the aircraft and were re-accommodated on another aircraft," the spokeswoman added.

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