A transatlantic jet has diverted to Shannon Airport after the crew declared an emergency over Co Donegal, reporting a fuel leak on board.
It’s the third time in less than a month that the same jet was forced to make an unscheduled landing as a result of a fuel leak. On November 18th the same plane diverted to Shannon Airport with the same issue.
The plane also diverted to Manchester Airport yesterday with a suspected fuel leak. The flight was travelling from Paris to Chicago in the U.S. at the time.
Tonight’s incident occurred as the aircraft was being flown back to Chicago from Manchester following Sunday’s diversion. The flight left Manchester shortly after 5.00pm yesterday with a crew of 11.
The airline confirmed the flight was operating a ‘cargo sector’ so there were no passengers on board.
About 40 minutes after take-off the crew of the Boeing 767-300(ER) jet declared an emergency over Donegal. The crew advised air traffic controllers they had a suspected fuel and wished to divert to Shannon Airport.
INCIDENT: United #UA2768 (767-300ER N642UA) just diverted to Shannon after squawking 7700 over Ireland due to "fuel leak from left overwing fuel cap" (pilot on ATC). It was positioning Manchester-Chicago after diverting to MAN yesterday while CDG-ORD (with yet another fuel leak). pic.twitter.com/sy53aBwtGF
— Airport Webcams (@AirportWebcams) December 16, 2019
While routing towards Shannon, the crew downgraded their emergency to a ‘Pan-pan’ alert which is less serious. On the ground however, airport fire and rescue crews were mobilised to positions alongside the runway ahead of the jet’s arrival.
The flight landed safely at 6.20pm and was pursued along the runway by fire crews who also accompanied the aircraft to the terminal. Airport operations were not affected during the incident.
An airline spokesman said: “United flight 2768, operating as a cargo sector from Manchester Airport to Chicago O’Hare Airport, diverted to Shannon Airport because of a mechanical issue. The aircraft landed safely at 6:25 p.m.. As this was operating as cargo sector, there were no customers on board. At this point in time, a departure time from Shannon has not yet been confirmed.”
Just last month, the same aircraft diverted to Shannon Airport after the crew also reported a fuel leak.
On November 18th, the jet was operating as flight UA-973, travelling from Brussels, Belgium to Chicago in the U.S., when the crew made the unscheduled landing at the mid-west airport. There were 164 passengers a crew of 11 on board at the time.
The jet was cleared to turn around and divert to Shannon where it touched down safely. Airport fire and rescue crews were standing by for the aircraft. A replacement was flown in the following day to take the passengers to their destination.