Terrifying moment sparks fly off a United Airlines plane as debris falls to the ground during take-off before it dumps fuel and doubles back for safe emergency landing at Newark Airport
- United Airlines 777 filmed showering sparks and losing debris after take off
- Plane circled over the ocean for 90 minutes before making emergency landing
- Video caught scary moment, suspected to be hydraulic pressure pump failure
- FAA confirmed crew reported an emergency and landed safely at Newark
A United Airlines jet had to make an emergency landing last night after a shower of sparks flew off and debris fell to the ground moments after taking off from Newark Airport.
The Boeing 777-200ER, which took off from Newark heading for Sao Paulo, Brazil, at 11.24pm, had to enter a holding pattern at 24,000 feet over the Atlantic after experiencing what is suspected to be a hydraulic pressure pump failure.
Approximately an hour and a half later, after dumping fuel over the ocean to reduce weight, the aircraft made a safe emergency landing back at Newark Airport.
The terrifying moment was purportedly caught on video by a nearby plane spotter, who captured the shower of sparks streaming from the landing gear compartment of the Boeing 777.
He also took a photograph of a piece of rectangular, rusty-looking piece of debris that fell to the ground.
The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed that the plane landed safely after the crew reported an emergency and that an investigation is under way.
There were no reports of any casualties or injuries among the crew and passengers.
Video of what was thought to be a United Airlines Boeing 777 shedding debris and showers of sparks was caught last night after it took off from Newark
A photo of the debris that fell from the plane was captured by a nearby plane spotter. The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed they are investigating the incident
The incident is not the first involving United Airlines’ fleet of rapidly ageing Boeing 777s, which are some of the oldest models of their kind in the world.
In February 2021, a United Airlines Boeing 777 suffered an uncontained engine failure after departing from Denver to Honolulu.
A loud bang was heard just four minutes after take off and pieces of the engine began to plummet to the ground over Broomfield, CO.
Jet engine parts were scattered around the entire suburb, with the entire engine inlet lip ending up in one piece in a resident’s front yard. No one was injured in the incident.
Plane spotter Hayden Smith caught the dramatic moment on camera from the ground.
All 241 passengers and crew were able to land safely 23 minutes after take off and just 19 minutes after the engine imploded.
The incident is not the first involving United Airlines’ fleet of rapidly ageing Boeing 777s (pictured), which are some of the oldest models of their kind in the world
The airline later released a statement announcing ‘out of an abundance of caution’ that they were grounding 24 Boeing 777 aircraft ‘powered by Pratt & Whitney 4000 series engines from [their] schedule.’
The Federal Aviation Administration then announced that all Boeing 777s equipped with Pratt & Whitney PW4070 engines would be grounded until further notice.
During this time a thorough investigation into the engine failure was carried out.
United Airlines said that they were working closely with the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board to ‘determine any additional steps that are needed to ensure [their] aircraft meet [their] rigorous safety standards and can return to service.’
The FAA issued a directive that extra care be given to the maintenance inspection of the Boeing 777s.
Specifically, the FAA cites the ‘hollow fan blades that are unique to this model of engine’ as the reason for the attack.