Key Points:

  • A United Airlines flight bound for Rome returned to Newark due to concerns over cabin pressurization.

  • The Boeing 777 descended more than 28,000 feet within a span of 10 minutes before turning back.

  • The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed the aircraft experienced a "pressurization issue" but landed safely without any loss of cabin pressure.

Unplanned Rapid Descent Interrupts United Airlines’ Rome-Bound Journey

NEWARK — A sudden turn of events disrupted the journey of United Airlines flight 510 en route from New York to Rome, as the Boeing 777 was forced to return to its departing airport due to a pressurization issue. According to a spokesman, the aircraft abruptly descended by over 28,000 feet in just 10 minutes before making a U-turn to head back to the Newark Liberty International Airport.

Departing at 8:37 pm, the plane was initially bound for Rome–Fiumicino International Airport but landed back at the New Jersey airport close to New York City at 12:27 am. The event was precipitated by concerns over potential cabin pressure loss, which necessitated the sudden descent and change in the course, affecting 270 passengers and 14 crew members on board.

Details from flight tracker FlightAware revealed the steep drop in altitude, a descent much faster than the usual rate of 1500 to 2000 feet per minute witnessed in commercial airlines. Despite this rapid descent, planes are built to withstand even greater and more steep descents.

Addressing the incident, a United Airlines spokesperson stated that the reversal in course was to "address a possible loss of cabin pressure." Clarifying further, the spokesperson emphasized that the flight landed safely and there was "never any loss of cabin pressure." The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) corroborated this, indicating that the aircraft faced a "pressurization issue," which compelled it to reverse its course to ensure the safety of everyone on board.

The matter has brought attention to the safety protocols followed by airlines in case of emergent issues during flight, showcasing the swift actions taken by the pilot and crew to prioritize the well-being of the passengers.