Hello, new poster, longtime lurker.

I have a question. This story is in the Chicago Tribune:

  • An American Airlines plane bound for O’Hare International Airport made a safe emergency landing at New York’s Kennedy Airport after the pilot reported a mechanical problem.
    American Airlines Flight 309 departed LaGuardia Airport just before 7a.m. (CDT), returning to New York about 15 minutes into the flight after the pilot reported a problem in the right engine of the MD-80 aircraft.

There were 88 passengers and five crew members on board according to American Airlines spokesperson Mary Frances Fagan. She said mechanics are investigating what kind of mechanical issue may have caused the flight to divert back to New York, but that the problem was unrelated to birds. The plane had been scheduled to land at O’Hare at 10:25 a.m.

Fagan said passengers will be bused back to LaGuardia for other flights bound for O’Hare. *

Yet Flightaware has this flight happily on its way from ORD to PHX:

Just curious.

Flight number is not associated with an aircraft, so the next leg of that flight is continuing as usual on a different aircraft.

Ah, I see. Also explains the different model of aircraft - MD80 in the article, MD82 on the ORD - PHX leg.


Here is the flight in question:

As you can see, the result is unknown because it didn’t complete the flight. ATC normally labels it as a diversion but may not be the case if they never left the same sector.

Additionally, most media (and many others even in the industry) don’t know the difference between an MD-80, 82, 83, 88, 90, etc. It’s just the labeling like they give for a Boeing 737 instead of a 737-300, -500, etc…

“MD80” actually refers to a series of aircraft. The MD81, 82, 83, 87, and 88 are all MD80s.

They probably placed the ORD-PHX passengers on a different MD82.

For your readers, you may wish to use the permalink for any specific flights you talk about. Click on the flight date in the listing and then copy the URL that appears in the address bar. In this case, the permalinks are … /KLGA/KORD (LGA-ORD) … /KORD/KPHX (ORD-PHX)