Watch: Sparks and Flaming Debris Fall from Passenger Plane - Forced into Emergency Action to Save Travelers


A passenger jet bound for Brazil was forced to turn around and return to Newark, N.J., early Thursday after flaming sparks and possibly even fiery debris started coming off the aircraft.

United Airlines Flight 149 began experiencing issues with its hydraulic pump after taking off around 11 p.m. Wednesday from Newark-Liberty International Airport, headed for São Paulo, Fox News reported.

As a safety precaution, the Boeng 777-200 circled over the Atlantic Ocean for almost two hours before starting its emergency landing around 1 a.m. Thursday, according to NBC News.

The plane “remained in the air to burn fuel and then landed safely,” the airline said, according to NBC. Passengers disembarked to wait for a replacement plane.

There were reportedly 256 passengers aboard the plane, but no one was injured, Fox reported.

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The hydraulic system is an integral part of major operating systems on Boeing 777s, WCVB-TV reported.

It runs things like the landing gear, brakes and flaps. However, the aircraft are designed with three hydraulic systems so that two can fail without catastrophically hindering the airplane, the news outlet reported.

When the plane did return, a video on social media seemed to show the aircraft having visible issues while it landed.

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“United 777 returns safely to Newark Airport following a technical issue, reportedly a problem with its hydraulics. A photo appeared on social media of suspected falling debris from the aircraft,” Breaking Aviation News & Videos tweeted, along with the video.

A later tweet in the same thread showed a picture of what looks like possible debris that was found on the ground.

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Recently, some of United’s Boeing 777-200s were taken out of service after it was discovered that they had not been through mandatory inspections of the front edges of the wings, Fox reported.

There has been no comment from United on any correlation between the inspection issues and this particular flight.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the incident with Flight 149, WCVB reported.

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