Watch: Sparks and Flaming Debris Fall from Passenger Plane

A passenger plane bound for Brazil was forced to turn around and return to Newark, NJ, early Thursday after flaming sparks and possibly even fiery debris erupted from the plane.

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

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

The plane “stayed airborne 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 on board the plane, but no one was injured, Fox reported.


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The hydraulic system is an integral part of the Boeing 777’s key operating systems, WCVB-TV reported.

It controls things like the landing gear, brakes, and flaps. However, the plane is equipped with three hydraulic systems, allowing two to fail without catastrophically debilitating the plane, the news outlet reported.

As the plane returned, video on social media appeared to show the plane had visible problems during landing.

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“United 777 safely returns to Newark Airport after a technical problem, allegedly a problem with the hydraulics. A photo of what is believed to be falling debris from the plane appeared on social media,” Breaking Aviation News & Videos tweeted along with the video.

A later tweet in the same thread showed an image of what appears to be possible debris found on the ground.


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Recently, some of United’s Boeing 777-200s were retired after they were found to have failed mandatory wing leading edge inspections, Fox reported.

There was no comment from United on any connection between the inspection issues and this particular flight.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the Flight 149 incident, WCVB reported. Watch: Sparks and Flaming Debris Fall from Passenger Plane

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