Flight in medical emergency over Atlantic

Flight in medical emergency over Atlantic

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File Photo: © Pat Flynn 2015
A US-bound passenger flight made an emergency landing at Shannon Airport on Saturday after the crew declared a medical emergency over the Atlantic.
United Airlines flight UA-879 was about three hours into its journey from London to Houston, Texas when the turned around. The flight was over the Atlantic about an hour south west of Ireland at the time. There were 199 passengers and a crew of 14 on board.
The flight crew made contact with controllers at the Irish Aviation Authority’s North Atlantic Communications Centre at Ballygirreen in Co Clare to advise them of their situation. The crew confirmed they needed to dump aviation fuel to ensure the Boeing 777-200 jet touched down within safe landing weight limits.
Airport fire and rescue crews were standing by for the aircraft when it landed safely shortly after 3.00pm.
Ambulance paramedics and airport authorities were also waiting for the aircraft at the terminal. The ill passenger was removed to University Hospital Limerick for treatment.
An airline spokesperson said: “United flight 879 (London Heathrow – Houston) diverted to Shannon Airport due to a medical emergency on board. The aircraft landed safely at 3.02 p.m. (local time). We apologise to our customers for the inconvenience caused.”
The flight continued to the US soon before 5.30pm..
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Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.

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