United Airlines pilot made mayday call before emergency landing at Sydney Airport
06 October, 2018, 12:58 | Author: Brooke Harris
Police activated a "full emergency response" and roads around Sydney Airport were closed after a United Airlines flight from Los Angeles made a mayday call above the city this morning.
Channel Nine's 60 Minutes reporter Liz Hayes was on-board the flight at the time of the incident and told 9NEWS passengers were completely unaware of the incident as the plane came in to land.
One of the flight's pilots made a mayday call because the plane was low on fuel after a 15-hour flight.
The airport was not shut down during the emergency response, and it's understood there were no delays to flights.
United Airlines said in a statement Flight 839 landed safely at Sydney Airport's worldwide terminal "following a mechanical issue".
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The Mayday shortly after 6am meant fire and medical crews were placed on standby while New South Wales police closed roads in the busy airport precinct as part of "a full emergency response".
Strong headwinds, weather conditions and changes in route and altitude are all factors that could eat into fuel levels, said spokesman Peter Gibson.
"What that tells air traffic control and aircraft in the area is that you need priority to come in".
A second passenger who was onboard flight 839, identified as Ian Lambert, said: "Everyone was calm, there was no panic, there was no announcement".
An Airservices Australia spokesperson said instances like this were "not unusual". "Controllers immediately alert ARFF services if available, as well as local emergency services, with details on the incident to enable them to respond appropriately and provide information and assistance to pilots".
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