View Full Version : United 839 returned to LAX

6th Jun 2008, 13:35
Hi All,

Just wondering how common this is and how much we were told?

About two hours into our flight LAX-SYD captain announces that (paraphrasing) "there is a sensor/instrument issue that we're not prepared to continue with and we are retuning to LAX".

On return we get an emergency landing reminder before landing and fire engines flanking the plane on landing with lights going. I thought this was fair enough, but I was a little concerned that, as we were deplaning, a couple of emergency crew in full gear came on board and disappeared upstairs.

Is it normal to tell the passangers any old thing, or is all of the above normal for a sensor failure?

Thanks in advance for any clues.


6th Jun 2008, 14:49
As you are probably aware the flight you were on gets further away from a diversion point than almost any other in the world so United will have some very robust procedures for what to do if even minor things go fail. LAX was still the nearest point, later it changes to Honolulu.

By the way ETOPS is not relevant here as you seem to have been on a 747.

The full emergency turnout with 30 fire engines is something that dismays many aviation professionals, as it unnerves the passengers considerably (as you). I am sure if there was any genuine concern the captain would have briefed you for an emergency evacuation on the runway. I know when push comes to shove the actual fire crews are always great guys but some of their procedures dreamt up by their backroom teams are way over the top and lacking in competent risk analysis.

23rd Jan 2009, 13:34
I'm curious... if for instance I was flying out or home and the airliner I was on develops a fault that requires an emergency landing... can I rely on the airline to get me home?

As someone who hasn't flown.. I don't think I could cope if stranded (as autistic).

Or would I be possibly waiting for weeks to get a flight?

23rd Jan 2009, 14:53
Yes, don't worry, the airline will get you to your destination as soon as it can.