An American Airlines flight from Charlotte to London was forced to circle the Winston-Salem area for three hours Wednesday night after a mechanical problem.
The flight later re-landed safely at Charlotte Douglas International Airport after burning off fuel on the loops that area residents noticed.
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An American Airlines spokesman said the problem was discovered after takeoff of Flight 730, which carried 258 passengers and 16 crew members. The Federal Aviation Administration told TV station WGHP the issue was with the airplane’s flaps.
The Airbus A330 left Charlotte bound for London’s Heathrow Airport at about 7 p.m. Wednesday and was scheduled to return to Charlotte Douglas at about 11 p.m.
“The A330 aircraft had to burn off fuel as to not land overweight when they returned to CLT,” American spokeswoman Katie Cody said by email Thursday. “It landed safely but did cancel. We accommodated passengers in hotels and rebooked them as quickly as possible.”
Passenger Alex de Courcy tweeted that passengers applauded when the plane landed safely in Charlotte.