April 13, 2024

United Airlines is having a rough go of it lately. On Tuesday (Mar. 12) morning, a flight that was heading to San Francisco from Sydney, Australia had to dump a bunch of fuel and turn around after a mysterious “maintenance issue.” An fuller explanation hasn’t been given yet, but a plane spotter, according to footage acquired by NBC Bay Area, caught fluid appearing to spray from the plane’s landing gear. It was the sixth safety incident involving a United plane within the span of a week.

“We maintain all of our aircraft in accordance with United’s FAA-approved maintenance program,” the company said a statement to the outlet. “We take every safety event seriously and will investigate each incident to understand what happened and learn from it.”

The aircraft in question is a Boeing 777-300, an older model from the plane manufacturer. As for United, the company has been trying to freshen up its plane lineup as of late. “We have a significant fleet of 777 and 767 that need to retire at some point later this decade,” said Andrew Nocella, United’s chief commercial officer, on an earnings call in October. But delays in getting new Boeing planes has made that difficult; lasted week United blamed the manufacturer’s issues for a pilot hiring freeze. “We just won’t grow as fast as we thought we would in 2024 due to continued delays at Boeing,” the company said.

Drama for every day of the week

The Sydney-San Francisco flight tops off a terrible, no good, very bad week for United.

✈️ On Thursday, a United plane going from San Francisco to Japan had to make an emergency landing in Los Angeles because a tire fell off after takeoff. There were no injuries.

✈️ On Friday, a United flight landing in Houston from Memphis veered off the runway at George Bush International Airport. There were no injuries. The plane was a Boeing 737 Max 8.

✈️ The same day, a United flight en route to Mexico City from San Francisco also had to land in Los Angeles after a hydraulics issue. There were no injuries. The plane was an Airbus A320.

✈️ On Saturday, a United plane going from Chicago to Salt Lake City had to turn around because of an engine oil indicator light. There were no injures. The plane was an Airbus A320.

✈️ On Monday, a United flight from Houston to Fort Meyers, Florida had to turn around because a mechanical issue led to flames spewing from the engines. There were no injuries. The plane was a Boeing 737.

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