A viral video of a United Airlines flight emitting sparks while the plane is still in the air has shocked the internet. The video shows flight number UAL149 ejecting debris after taking off from Newark Liberty International Airport. It should be noted that the sparks emitted in the video became visible immediately after the aircraft took off. The flight in the incident was bound for Sao Paulo but had to return to Newark Liberty International Airport for a safe landing after sparks erupted from the aircraft. Note that the aircraft in this incident was a Boeing 777 registered as N787UA.
The plane’s pilots handled the situation by entering a holding pattern over the Atlantic Ocean. According to reports, the United Airlines flight took off from Newark International Airport on Wednesday, September 21 at 23:24 local time. After the said incident, the plane returned in about one and a half hours on 22 September.
Video credit: IG variablecraft
A spotter on the ground recorded video of the United Airlines Boeing 777 emitting sparks. The video shows sparks coming from somewhere near the engine. However, it is still not clear from which part of the plane’s wreckage came.
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According to reports from Simple Flying, there were 256 passengers on board the flight. Passengers were transported using another aircraft after the incident. Based on the same report, the airline said the incident was caused by a problem with the hydraulic pump.
After the video of the incident went viral on the internet, many social media users pointed out that the incident was caused by United Airlines’ aging fleet. Furthermore, reports suggest that 25 United Airlines Boeing 777-200s were previously grounded. The reason for this action was said to be a lack of inspection of the leading edge of the wings.