A United Airlines Boeing 767-400 had to divert to St. John’s, Newfoundland in Canada due to smoke being detected in the cabin.
United Airlines Boeing 767
On November 25th, a United Airlines Boeing 767-400 was roughly 2 hours into a transatlantic journey from Newark to Barcelona when the crew said the presence of smoke in the cabin. The decision was made to divert to the nearest suitable airport.
United Airlines flight and incident details
- All set to perform flight UA120 from Newark Liberty (EWR) to Barcelona’s El Prat Airport (BCN), a
- United Airlines Boeing 767-400 registered N66051 took off at 19:52 local time.
According to The Aviation Herald, the plane was en route at FL360, about 220nm south-southeast of St. John‘s, Newfoundland (YYT) in Canada when smoke was detected in the cabin.
It was then decided that the flight should divert to St. John’s, Newfoundland (YYT) in Canada, with pilots requesting an ILS approach to runway 29. A safe landing was performed on runway 29, around half an hour after pilots initiated a diversion.
The aircraft vacated runway 29 and taxied to the apron where it was met by an emergency landing. The Aviation Herald also said that firefighters inspected the aircraft but found no fire, heat, or smoke in the cabin.
A replacement aircraft was dispatched by United Airlines Boeing 767-400 to collect travelers left stranded in St. John’s, Newfoundland (YYT) in Canada. This ‘rescue’ aircraft is another Boeing 767-400. Registered N69063, the jet will continue the travel onwards to Barcelona, albeit in a seemingly roundabout manner.
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Interestingly, FlightRadar24.com notes that the replacement jet didn’t directly fly affected travelers from St. John’s to Barcelona. Instead, the aircraft flew back to Newark as flight UA3028 before restarting service to Barcelona (UA3029). As for the incident aircraft, it will stay in St John’s but ultimately be ferried back to Newark Liberty.
The incident aircraft is a Boeing 767-400 registered N66051 that is now almost 22 and a half years old. With MSN 29446 and Line Number 799, the jet was 1st delivered to Continental Airlines in August of 2000.
The aircraft was originally configured with 35 seats in business class and 200 in the economy. Then, in 2012, N66051 was reconfigured to seat 39 in business and 203 in the economy.
AeroInside notes that the aircraft has had a few incidents over its twenty-two-year career. On March 20th, 2014, the aircraft reported: “minor technical problems” flying out of Zurich en route to Washington.
The aircraft decided to return to Zurich as a result. The jet would go on to experience 2 separate incidents with bleed air problems. The 1st of these took place in July 2015, resulting in a rejected take-off at Washington Dulles International Airport.
The 2nd bleed air-related incident took place more recently, on March 13th, 2022. This prompted the crew to stop its climb and return to the origin airport (Newark).
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