A United Airlines 767-300 bound for Zurich caused a temporary ground stop in Chicago O’Hare Sunday afternoon after encountering a mechanical issue just before takeoff.
UA3, A 767-300 From Chicago – Zurich Causes Ground Stop At O’Hare Airport
UA3, operated by a Boeing 767-300 (registration number N672UA), pushed back from the gate, taxied to the runway, but was forced to abort rotation when smoke poured out of an engine as it spooled for takeoff.
As a result, the aircraft became “stuck” on the active runway, forcing a number of runway diversions and the eventual closure of the airspace by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The ground stop lasted for about 20 minutes and was lifted after the disabled 767 was towed back to the terminal.
United provided the following statement concerning the incident:
“United flight 3 experienced a mechanical issue shortly before takeoff. The aircraft was returned to the terminal where passengers safely deplaned. We are working to get our customers to their final destination as soon as possible.”
The aircraft was served and the flight took off at 9:52 pm CDT, just over six hours late, using the same aircraft:
It is not clear what may have caused this mechanical issue, but the aircraft was cleared for reentry to service and experienced no issue taking off for Zurich a second time.
After a United 767-300 essentially became stuck on the active runway after a mechanical-related problem, the FAA was forced to briefly order a ground stop until the aircraft could be cleared. That flight ended up departing six hours late using the same aircraft.
For those without schedule restraints, the later departure probably made sleeping much easier. I took UA3 earlier this year and generally find it quite difficult to fall asleep so early in the afternoon.