Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.

A United Airlines flight that left Los Angeles International Airport headed for Newark, N.J., had to return to LAX with most of its fuel after the Boeing 757 had an “engine issue,” according to authorities and an airport spokesman.

United flight 1807, which carried 171 people, left LAX at 2:16 p.m. and was scheduled to land at Newark Liberty International Airport at 10:07 p.m. EST, according to LAX spokesman Marshall Lowe and the www.flightaware.com website.

But about 45 minutes into the flight the jet reportedly displayed an “engine issue,” according to a Los Angeles Fire Department dispatcher.

The plane was turned around and returned to LAX “heavy,” which means it was still carrying most of its fuel.

Lowe said the aircraft landed at 3:34 p.m. with about six hours of fuel remaining.

According to the LAFD dispatcher the flight landed on runway 25 right and an emergency truck loaded with foam was at the scene in case of a landing problem.

The United flight landed safely and there were no reports of injuries, according to Lowe, who said he had no details on the nature of the mechanical problem.

United spokeswoman Mary Clark told City News Service, “The flight returned to LAX as a precaution due to an indication of a mechanical issue and landed without incident.”

United substituted another plane and the passengers were reboarded.

The jet was scheduled to arrive at Newark about 1 a.m. local time, Clark said.

In subsequent emails, Clark disputed the report there was actual engine trouble, stating, “It (United 1807) returned as a precautionary measure due to an ‘indicator’. Determined that there was no mechanical issue.”

Asked why another plane needed to be substituted if there were no mechanical or engine problems, Clark responded, “As a precaution because of the indicator.”

Clark was also asked if there were problems with the jet’s reverse thrusters. A firefighter at the scene said in a radio transmission that only one of the jet’s two reverse thrusters on its engines appeared to be working.

In response, Clark said, “I’ve given you our response about the situation. Nothing else to add.”

— City News Service

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