The Boeing 777 was en route to Rome when it had to return to its original place of departure in New Jersey
A United Airlines flight dropped 28,000 feet in almost 10 minutes on Wednesday because of a situation the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) described as a “pressurization issue.”
CNN reported, citing data from FlightAware, that United Airlines Flight 510 bound for Rome, Italy, from Newark, New Jersey, experienced a dramatic descent from 37,000 feet at 10:07 p.m. to almost 9,000 feet at 10:15 p.m.
The Boeing 777 flew from Newark Liberty International Airport on its scheduled 8:37 p.m. departure time Wednesday. However, the plane returned around 12:27 a.m. Thursday “to address a possible loss of cabin pressure,” a United spokesperson confirmed to PEOPLE.
The plane had 270 passengers and 14 members of the crew, Fox News reported.
In a statement to PEOPLE, a United spokesperson said: "United flight 510 returned to Newark Liberty International Airport yesterday to address a possible loss of cabin pressure. The flight landed safely and there was never any loss of cabin pressure. We arranged for another aircraft to take our customers to their destination."
Last month, an American Airlines flight dropped 15,000 feet in three minutes. The FAA said that Flight 5916, which was en route to Gainesville, Florida, from Charlotte, North Carolina, "landed safely at Gainesville Regional Airport in Florida around 4:55 p.m. local time. ”
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University of Florida professor Harrison Hove, who was a passenger on that American Airlines flight, posted on X (formerly known as Twitter) on Aug. 10: “Something failed midflight and depressurized the cabin. The burning smell can apparently be attributed to using the oxygen canisters. The wing flaps came out to immediately lower our altitude so there would be more oxygen. It was terrifying but turned out ok.”
In June, a Delta Airlines plane landed safely in Charlotte, North Carolina, after pilots received a “nose gear unsafe” notification, per Delta’s website. At the time, the plane, which left from Atlanta at 7:25 a.m. EDT, was carrying 96 passengers. Following their evacuation from the plane after landing, the passengers were transported via bus to the terminal.
In a statement, Delta said: “After a series of maneuvers and ongoing communication with CLT air traffic controllers to further trouble shoot the indication, pilots landed the plane at CLT, with the nose gear up, at 8:58 a.m. EDT.”
In his LinkedIn post, Delta CEO Ed Bastian apologized for what happened and thanked airline staff. “I want to extend my sincere thanks to the crew of Delta flight 1092 who took such great care of our customers today after the aircraft’s nose gear failed to deploy. Our crews train extensively for situations like this and I’m proud of their professionalism in landing the aircraft safely.
"To our customers onboard, please know that your safety is our No. 1 priority – always," Bastian continued. "We have your back, and our teams are working to get you to your final destination just as quickly as possible. Thanks as always for the trust you place in us.”
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