Sunday 25 February 2018

Aer Lingus pilot tells JFK Air Control: 'We have lost hydraulic fluid and have to return to JFK'

The flight was due to land at Shannon Airport at 6am
The flight was due to land at Shannon Airport at 6am
Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

An Aer Lingus flight made an emergency landing in New York last night after a technical fault was discovered.

Flight EI 110 took off from JFK airport last night at 630pm (local time) but was forced to ground shortly afterwards.

All 110 passengers aboard the flight bound for Ireland disembarked from the plane safely at JFK airport.

The flight was due to land at Shannon Airport at 6am (Irish time).

It's understood the pilots received a "failure notification" shortly after taking off regarding their hydraulic equipment and potential problems with their landing gear.

It's believed the plane circled for a short while over Long Island before returning to JFK and making the emergency landing.

Local ABC News affiliate WABC-TV carried audio between the flight's pilot and Air Traffic Control at JFK.

"We do have a technical issue here - we lost our hydraulic system, one hydraulic system so we are going to have to return to Kennedy at some stage, not quite yet. I would like you to inform Kennedy that we have lost hydraulic fluid and it may be dumped on the runway we're not sure. Please stand-by for further," the pilot told Air Traffic Control.

Up to 20 fire trucks were located close to runway 22 when the plan landed at approximately 7.15pm local time.

WABC reported that a small fire broke out in the brakes upon landing but this was put out immediately.

Passengers were evacuated and bussed to the terminal while Boeing 757 was towed to a nearby hangar.

The pilots and crew's actions were praised by one passenger.

"It just looked like a sci-fi movie. The actual touchdown itself was pretty bumpy, but not out of control considering, he did an excellent job. Right away we could see there were maybe 15 or 20 fire trucks right on the runway immediately, ready to drive up, and they started spraying us like almost immediately," said Patrick Dyer Wolf, a passenger, told WABC.

"And while they were still spraying the plane, the pilot came out into the cabin and made another announcement and explained what happened. He said that one of the hydraulic tanks had been leaking hydraulic fluid, and it started as a slow leak and then eventually drained to empty."

Aer Lingus have issued a statement saying: "Flight EI 110 (New York JFK to Shannon) returned back to New York JFK shortly after departure today due to a technical fault with the aircraft. The aircraft landed safely at 7:31pm local time. Emergency services were in attendance as a precaution. All 110passengers were disembarked safely and will be accommodated on the next available flights."

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