Last night American Airlines flight AA730 from Charlotte to London discovered problems with its flaps shortly after takeoff. There were 258 passengers and 16 crew onboard.
- About 35 minutes into the flight the aircraft turned around over southern Virginia.
- An hour and 10 minutes into the flight it began to circle.
- Three hours later it came in to land back in Charlotte.
FlightRadar24, sped up but bear in mind that 10 seconds in you may get dizzy:
The Airbus A330-200 has an aircraft option to allow for dumping fuel, I don’t think it’s an option on the 16 year old A330-300 which operated this flight. However an A330 is capable of landing after carrying out an ‘overweight landing’ checklist. It doesn’t have to get down to or below maximum landing weight in the event of an emergency. Dumping fuel rather than landing overweight is going to prevent more costly maintenance inspections.
In fact that the aircraft was circling for three hours is an indication the condition wasn’t as serious as it might have been. Nonetheless, any irregularity can be frightening as a passenger. Last year when my American Airlines Dallas – San Francisco flight returned to Dallas after experiencing a bird strike on climb out passengers held their breath until we reached the ground.
Nonetheless at least one passenger onboard reported that others didn’t seem nervous.
Didn't seem to be but was in 1A so didn't see much -most fed up that their onward plans impacted -there was a round of applause on touchdown
— Alex de Courcy (@alexdc1) June 22, 2017
On arrival in Charlotte emergency vehicles responded as a precaution.
— Brad Panovich (@wxbrad) June 22, 2017
(HT: Ken A.)