An airplane spotter has filmed the moment sparks and debris started streaming from an United Airlines flight shortly after its takeoff from New Jersey.
The plane – originally destined to land at São Paulo International Airport – was forced to return to Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) at 01:00am local time on September 22, about an hour and a half after its original departure.
In video shared to social media, a witnesses on the ground is heard screaming as the Boeing 777-200 passes overhead, sparks leaping from the aircraft.
United Airlines told 9News.com.au that 256 passengers were onboard the flight at the time of the incident.
“Passengers deplaned at the gate and we assigned a new aircraft that departed this afternoon.
“Initial maintenance inspection points to a hydraulic pump issue.”
The incident came after United Airlines grounded 25 of its Boeing 777-200s earlier this week, after failing to complete required safety inspections to wing leading-edge panels.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said the airline disclosed the issue to them.
The airline announced on Tuesday, 10 aircraft had been inspected and cleared to fly.
The plane filmed in this incident was not one of them.