Home Airline News United Airlines Boeing 777 Rejects Takeoff, Evacuates Cabin Due To Smoke

United Airlines Boeing 777 Rejects Takeoff, Evacuates Cabin Due To Smoke

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A United Airlines flight at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport aborted takeoff and evacuated its passengers due to smoke in the cabin. The aircraft, a Boeing 777-200, had accelerated to around 90 knots before rejecting takeoff. The investigation into the cause of the smoke is ongoing. Let’s take a closer look at this incident……

On the morning of Friday, September 2nd, United Airlines flight UA 71 flying from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport to
Newark Liberty International Airport was forced to reject takeoff at high speed after smoke was detected in the cabin.

The flight, operated by a Boeing 777-200, was cleared for takeoff at around 09:50 local time, over 30 minutes later than its scheduled departure. The aircraft accelerated to 90 knots before aborting takeoff due to reports that light smoke was detected in the cabin. Fire and emergency services were called, arriving on the runway less than 10 minutes later. The crew then decided to conduct an evacuation, with 253 passengers and 13 crew safely exiting the plane. Passengers were then bussed back to the terminal and the affected aircraft returned to the apron. Two people on the flight were treated for smoke inhalation.

United Airlines (Photo by Daniel SLIM / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty Images)

So what was the cause of the smoke? Well, according to a report from NL Times, a spokesperson for the
Kennemerland Security Region said, “it may have been caused by a small, electrical short circuit.” Given the threat posed by smoke in the cabin, which could indicate a range of critical problems, if the aircraft did take off then it would have turned back around and performed an emergency landing.

Issuing a statement to the NL Times, a United Airlines spokesperson said: “Our maintenance team is currently inspecting the aircraft. We are making arrangements to get our customers to their final destination as soon as possible.” Obviously unrelated but interesting nonetheless, Simple Flying reported on a similar incident a few days prior. On August 28th an American Airlines Boeing 777 flying from Miami to London had to divert to Bermuda due to smoke in the cabin. Going back to the United Airlines incident, the aircraft involved was a Boeing 777-200 registered as N787UA. The aircraft, over 25 years old, has spent its entire service life at United after arriving in June 1997.

N787UA recently spent over six months in storage at Victorville Airport between November 2021 and May 2022 before re-entering service in June. Data from ch-aviation shows that the aircraft has clocked in over 100,000 flight hours. According to AeroInside, the Boeing 777 has been involved in a few incidents in the past decade. In September 2015, the plane suffered a mid-flight engine shutdown soon after takeoff from São Paulo, while a similar incident occurred a year earlier near San Francisco.

What do you think of this incident? Let us know your opinions in the comments.

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