An American Airlines’ flight bound for China was forced to divert after experiencing both a medical emergency and mechanical problems in-flight. Talk about an unlucky flight…
AA263 from Dallas to Beijing departed DFW on time at just past 11:00 A.M. yesterday, with a 14 hour, 20 minute flight to PEK planned.
About 700 miles in the flight, as the plane flew over Canada, the medical emergency was declared. Shortly thereafter, an unspecified mechanical issues was also discovered. The Boeing 787-8 aircraft began circling the Edmonton and Calgary areas, waiting for instructions.
First, the plane received instructions to land in Edmonton. That was later revised, however, because Calgary has a longer runway. The whole process, perhaps because customs and immigration formalities had to be arranged, took several hours. During that time the aircraft continued to circle below 10,000 feet, not traveling faster than 400mph. The flight touched down a few minutes before 5:00 P.M.
AA sent a replacement 787-8 to Calgary to pick-up the stranded passengers and the flight left for Beijing moments ago.
One passenger snapped these shots yesterday and posted them on Twitter:
All passengers are safe, even the one who became ill and forced the diversion. Looks cold, though…
I’ve experienced a handful of diversions over the year, but never a medical and mechanical diversion on the same flight. Good news that everyone onboard is safe.
image: Beth Allan / Twitter