A Boeing 777-300ER operated by Fort Worth-based American Airlines is reportedly still on the ground in São Paulo, Brazil, after an inflight emergency early Monday morning. The aircraft was en-route to New York City but returned not long after its departure.

The plane returned to the airport after the pilots declared “Mayday,” a term used to describe a life-threatening situation onboard. Upon landing, one of the plane’s tires burst, according to witnesses. The emergency was believed to be caused by a failed pressurization system.

Details surrounding the incident

N730AN, operating as American Airlines flight 950, originated at Guarulhos International Airport (GRU) and was bound for John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). The nearly nine-year-old 777-300ER pushed back from gate 309 at 23:37, which was 17 minutes after its scheduled departure at 23:20 on Sunday, according to data from FlightAware. The aircraft took off at 12:10 Monday from runway 28R.

The triple-seven then turned north to begin its 9-hour, 45-minute journey to the Big Apple. After being airborne for around 10 minutes, reaching 20,000 feet, the plane descended. According to Aeroin, the aircraft had a pressurization problem, and the oxygen masks were activated, falling from the upper compartment of the cabin for the passengers to use.

Once the plane reached around 15,600 feet, it turned back towards GRU. 16 minutes into the flight, the aircraft was sustained at 12,000 feet and then descended further, four minutes later. At 9,000 feet, the pilots flew in a hold for approximately 10 minutes, which is an oval-shaped course flown by aircraft awaiting further clearance, especially when landing.

“Mayday, Mayday”

44 minutes into the flight, the plane lined up for its final approach to return to runway 28R. The pilots can be heard contacting GRU in a recording obtained by aviation videographer Golf Oscar Romero.

“Tower, American 950 is back with you for 28R,” one of the pilots said.

An air traffic controller reported back with the current weather conditions at the airport and then provided clearance.

“Cleared to land, runway 28R,” the air traffic controller said.

Then, the pilot can be heard declaring the distress signal.

“Cleared to land runway 28R, American 950, and we are a mayday, mayday aircraft,” the pilot noted.

Landing safely

Emergency responders got into position on the taxiways near the runway. The landing appeared to be safe and uneventful as the pilots were able to taxi the widebody jet off the runway. Fire trucks entered the runway and followed the plane to the apron, which is a standard procedure in emergencies.

Video of the incident’s aftermath shows passengers exiting the aircraft onto the apron while firefighters attend to the scene, and photos taken by a passenger show one of the aircraft’s busted tires and the cabin interior with oxygen masks hanging from the ceiling.

According to Aeroin, one of the tires busting on landing was most likely due to the aircraft landing above its ideal weight since it did not have enough time to burn fuel before diverting back to GRU.

No injuries were reported. N730AN is said to be undergoing inspection and maintenance at American’s hangar at the airport. The aircraft is scheduled to return to JFK on Thursday as American Airlines 9779, according to data from FlightRadar24.com. If the flight takes place, it would be a ferry flight, as it is not listed on the carrier’s website.

Source: Aeroin

Source: simpleflying.com

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