- IATA/ICAO Code:
- Airline Type:
- Full Service Carrier
- Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Denver International Airport, Guam International Airport, Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport
- Year Founded:
- Star Alliance
- Scott Kirby
- United States
A United Airlines flight from London Heathrow (LHR) to Chicago O’Hare (ORD) diverted to Shannon (SNN), following a suspected fuel leak. The incident took place onboard flight UA928 on October 5th.
Around two hours after departure, the crew noticed a fuel leak on the upper side of the aircraft’s left wing and took the decision to abandon their transatlantic journey and divert to Shannon. Ireland’s National Ambulance Service was mobilized, as were airport and local fire and rescue services.
Thankfully, they were not needed, and the Boeing 767-300ER landed safely at 16:39. There were no reports of any injuries among the 157 passengers and 10 crew members onboard. Following the landing, a runway inspection was carried out to check for any contamination – none was found.
The flight’s diversion is clearly visible on FlightRadar24.com:
The response from United Airlines
At the time of the incident, a spokesperson for United Airlines said,
“Our team at Shannon Airport is providing assistance to customers of United flight 928 (London Heathrow – Chicago O’Hare) today, which diverted to Shannon Airport to address a technical issue. We are making arrangements for our customers to complete their journeys as soon as possible.”
A replacement Boeing 767-300ER (N665UA) was subsequently positioned to Shannon from Newark to operate the remainder of the flight to Chicago. The affected passengers eventually arrived at their destination with a total delay of around 24 hours. At the time of writing, the aircraft involved in the incident, N666UA, remains on the ground in Shannon awaiting clearance from engineers.
United Airlines currently operates two daily flights between London Heathrow and Chicago O’Hare. Photo: United Airlines
London Heathrow to Chicago O’Hare
Flight UA928 is one of United Airlines’ two daily flights from London Heathrow to Chicago O’Hare. The schedule is as follows:
- UA928 – departs London Heathrow at 13:05 and arrives in Chicago at 16:15
- UA959 – departs London Heathrow at 15:20 and arrives in Chicago at 18:20
Both services are operated by the Boeing 767-300ER, of which the carrier has 37 in its fleet. The capacity of each aircraft varies, ranging from 167 to 214 passengers. Unsurprisingly, the aircraft operating Wednesday’s flight from London Heathrow is in the airline’s most premium-heavy configuration, seating 46 in Polaris business, 22 in Premium Plus, 43 in Economy Plus, and 56 in Economy.
From October 30th, United Airlines will add a third daily flight on the route. UA929 will depart London Heathrow at 10:25 and arrive in Chicago at 14:20.
United Airlines’ Boeing 767-300ERs carry between 167 and 214 passengers, depending on the seating configuration. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying
According to ch-aviation.com, N666UA is a 24-year-old Boeing 767-300ER, which was delivered new to United Airlines in August 1998. In the days leading up to the incident, the aircraft had operated flights between London Heathrow and both Newark (EWR) and Washington (IAD).
This is not the only time a United Airlines aircraft has had to divert for technical reasons recently. At the end of last month, one of the carrier’s Boeing 777-200s operating flight UA149 from Newark to Sao Paulo (GRU) returned to Newark shortly after take-off following sparks and visible debris emissions.
Have you been on a flight that has diverted due to a suspected fuel leak? Share your experiences by commenting below.