Published: Sat, October 06, 2018
Economy | By

United flight from LA lands safely in Sydney after declaring 'fuel mayday'

United flight from LA lands safely in Sydney after declaring 'fuel mayday'

Police called a "full emergency response" and briefly closed major roads surrounding Sydney airport as a precaution at 6:36 am (2036 GMT Wednesday) after the pilot raised the alert.

The 787-900 Dreamliner carrying 239 passengers landed safely shortly after.

Authorities say the plane was running low on fuel - and the pilot was following procedure.

NSW Police launched a full-scale emergency response to the mayday call, closing some streets around the airport.

According to Civil Aviation Safety Australia, "fuel mayday" calls are an automatic requirement when planes tap into reserve supplies of fuel.

The U.S. airline said in a statement Flight 839 landed safely at Sydney International Airport "following a mechanical issue".


The procedure is created to alert air traffic controllers to the fuel shortage and allow them to give the plane landing priority.

While low fuel levels automatically trigger an emergency warning, the plane had enough fuel to safely land, Airservices Australia said.

Another man who watched UA839 fly in from outside of the airport said the plane was followed into the terminal by emergency services.

A second passenger who was onboard flight 839, identified as Ian Lambert, said: "Everyone was calm, there was no panic, there was no announcement".

"Not a hint, not a mention of any impending doom or mayday situation", Channel Nine presenter Liz Hayes added.

Airservices Australia said a full mayday call "indicates an aircraft is in grave and imminent danger and requires immediate assistance".

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