United Airlines Boeing 737 Makes Emergency Return To Japanese Airport After Wing Flap “Irregularity”

By TYLER DURDEN – Zerohedge

There has been another Boeing incident overnight. This news is particularly alarming for anyone flying domestically or internationally on a Boeing jet, especially given the two Boeing mishaps earlier this week.

Aviation news website Simply Flying reported a United Airlines Boeing 737-800 that departed from Fukuoka Airport in Japan earlier today experienced an “irregularity” with a wing flap(s).

UA166, which was taking off from Fukuoka Airport to Guam Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport, climbed to an altitude of 10,000 feet after takeoff, then leveled off and held a holding pattern. Around this time, pilots detected a wing flap(s) issue.

“Eventually, after holding for more than 30 minutes, the aircraft began its approach to FUK by descending and lining up on the airport’s sole runway, runway 16/34, with the United Airlines aircraft landing at the aircraft on the former configuration,” Simply Flying said. 

Simply Flying, local media outlets nor officials provided additional information about the flap ‘issue.’

What’s important to understand here is that flaps are crucial for producing additional lift in takeoff and landing procedures. For the pilots out there, the flaps are critical for more lift on a ‘normal’ approach that provides reduced speed and controlled flight ahead of the round-out phase of landing. In other words, with full flaps deployed, a steep approach on landing means reduced speed and shorter runway distance is needed. A straight-line approach with no flaps deployed means higher speed and more runway distance required.

Given the brief aviation lesson about wing flaps, the 737-800 usually requires 6,500–7,000 feet for landing. Many calculations go into that, including weight and wind. Data shows the plane used the entire 9,186-foot runway, a possible indication of wing flap issues.

The good news is that the plane landed without an issue, and all 49 souls onboard were safe.

Another day, another issue with Boeing.

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