A United Airlines flight bound for Rome experienced a possible pressurization issue and was forced to take a precautionary return to Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey. The near-full United Airlines Flight 510 was carrying 270 passengers and 14 crew members when the aircraft experienced the issue. The pilots then reduced the plane’s altitude by 28,000 feet.
The incident happened with a Boeing 777-200ER on September 13. The aircraft departed Newark at 9:20 PM. After nearly 45 minutes into the flight, cruising at 37,000 feet and flying at a speed of 530 knots (610 mph), the aircraft experienced a cabin pressurization issue.
Upon detecting the cabin pressurization issue, the pilots then declared an emergency. The flight descended in a matter of minutes. Pilots initiated a rapid descent from 37,000 feet at 10:07 PM to 9,000 feet at 10:15 PM. FlightRadar24.com data shows that the United Airlines flight descended by more than 28,000 feet in just under 10 minutes. This descent in altitude is a common flight procedure done to address possible cabin pressurization failure.
Possible Pressurization Issue
The aircraft then leveled off at 9,000 feet and circled twice over Nova Scotia, Canada. Flying at 300 knots (350 mph), it took another two hours before the aircraft landed safely at Newark Liberty International Airport at 12:27 AM on Thursday, September 14.
In a statement by United Airlines’ spokesperson, the plane returned “to address a possible loss of cabin pressure.” The spokesperson added that “The flight landed safely and there was never any loss of cabin pressure.” The airline also said that there were no injuries during the incident.
The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed the incident that prompted the United Airlines flight to go back to Newark Liberty International Airport. The FAA said that the plane had a “pressurization issue.”
United Airlines then sent a replacement aircraft for the Italy-bound passengers. The replacement aircraft was another Boeing 777-224ER and departed at 3:33 AM. The passengers arrived in Rome at 5:08 PM local time.