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United shreds tyres, turns round, delays Sydney flights

October 23, 2013 Aviation, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59A United Airlines B747-400 was forced to return to Sydney at the weekend after blowing several tyres as it took off for Los Angeles.

The Sydney/Los Angeles leg is a long one (12,065 kilometres) and requires a lot of fuel, much of which the plane was obliged to dump before landing back in Sydney. On returning, the United B747 (flight UA 840) ended up stuck on Sydney Airport’s main north-south runway, causing major delays to other flights. Twitter user @brendenwood

Sydney Airport released a terse statement saying only that a United Airlines aircraft had returned “following a problem experienced during take-off.

“The aircraft has landed safely and passengers and crew are currently in the process of returning to the terminal,” the statement continued. “This has caused delays to some operations.” The statement went on to advise passengers to contact their individual airlines.

Aviation quality and safety site later obtained some photos which shed light on the problem and show the severity of the tyre damage sustained.

The pilots dumped fuel before landing to cut the aircraft’s landing weight back to 295 tons. The plane’s maximum take-off weight is 396 tons, according to,  although wehther the 747-400 was at its maximum take-off weight is not known.

Written by : Peter Needham

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