United Flight to London U-Turns to New York: Landing Gear Issue

United Flight to London U-Turns to New York: Landing Gear Issue
Kiefer. from Frankfurt, Germany, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
James Field - Editor in Chief 4 Min Read
4 Min Read

It has emerged that yesterday, a United Airlines Boeing 767 bound for London u-turned back to New York Newark following a landing gear issue.

This adds to the other plethora of incidents that have been reported in the last two weeks.

Without further ado, let’s get into it…

UA14 – New York to London…

United Flight to London U-Turns to New York: Landing Gear Issue
Data provided by RadarBox.com.

United Airlines flight UA14 is a routine scheduled flight between New York Newark and London Heathrow.

The affected rotation, which u-turned back to Newark, was operated by N663UA.

As per data from Planespotters.net, N663UA is a 30.6 year old Boeing 767-300ER.

It was first delivered to United Airlines back in August 1993.

Furthermore, of the 767-300 variant, UA has 37 of them in their fleet, of which 27 are in active service and 10 are parked.

Average fleet age for the variant at the airline is 28.1 years.

UA14 departed New York Newark at 2021 local time yesterday evening.

The aircraft initially climbed out in the direction of London Heathrow.

As per reporting from The Aviation Herald, it is understood the climb-out was stopped at 12,000 feet.

The crew reported a problem with the landing gear, which resulted in a series of holds to burn fuel.

UA14, originally bound for London Heathrow, landed back into New York Newark around one hour and 42 minutes after departure.

In a statement, the FAA said the following on this:

“United Airlines Flight 14 returned safely to Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey around 9:40 p.m.”

“local time on Monday, March 18, after the crew reported a possible landing gear issue.”

“The Boeing 767 was headed to Heathrow Airport in London.”

“The FAA will investigate. Please contact the airline for additional information.”

The Airline Is Placing Extra Focus on Safety…

United Flight to London U-Turns to New York: Landing Gear Issue
Andrew Thomas from Shrewsbury, UK, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This incident came on the same day that a letter was sent out by United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby on safety.

This comes following eight different unrelated incidents in a 10 day period, which garnered significant attention.

In the letter from United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby, he said:

“Safety is our highest priority and is at the center of everything we do”, he said.

“Unfortunately, in the past few weeks, our airline has experienced a number of incidents that are reminders of the importance of safety”.

“While they are all unrelated, I want you to know that these incidents have our attention and have sharpened our focus”.

On the incidents themselves, Kirby has said what steps the airline is taking moving forward:

“Our team is reviewing the details of each case to understand what happened and using those insights to inform our safety training and procedures across all employee groups”.

“This is in addition to some changes that were already planned, including an extra day of in-person training for all pilots starting in May”.

“We’re also dedicating more resources to supplier network management”.


Aktug Ates (GFDL 1.2 http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/fdl-1.2.html or GFDL 1.2 http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/fdl-1.2.html), via Wikimedia Commons

In conclusion, UA17 between New York & London Heathrow is yet another incident to add to the tally chart for United Airlines.

Looking ahead, all eyes will be on whether anymore incidents will come to light again in a short period of time.

Furthermore, CEO Kirby continues to work and press on regarding safety and maintenance.

But for now, let’s see what else comes from this moving forward, pending the FAA investigation.

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