FlightAware Discussions

united airlines forced to dump fuel over sydney

united airlines headed for l.a. from sydney had engine problems, had to turn around and dumped fuel over sydney and landed safely at sydney as my freind works in the mantance section he will let me now what went wrong and i will keep you all informed.

Happen to know the time that this occurred? YSSY does have a LiveATC feed, and it would be interesting to hear how the Aussies handle it.


no, sometime in after noon on saturday

Last question… late afternoon local time (AEDT/AEST)? That would give a good time to look after adjusting for the timezones…


you say that they were forced i dont see how they could be ‘FORCED’ to do something like that. i bet those people in sydney didnt react well!! :neutral_face: i can see how they could be forced by emergency but what was the date and they time that this happened i will look this up to find out the whole story.

Not seeing the track so I am guessing but I doubt they had to dump fuel over Sydney unless the engine failed on takeoff and the dump was part of the emergency checklist. If the problem happened even a minute after liftoff you can likely wait until established over the water or perhaps a designated fuel dump area.

I remember an incident at SFO years ago. I think it was a Korean 747 departing on 28R lost an engine at liftoff and started dumping fuel immediately. The airline bought hundreds of car paint jobs since a parking lot off the end of the runway got doused in jet fuel.

“Forced” by circumstances and the laws of physics. Most aircraft can take off weighing more than they can safely land. Hence, in order to safely return to the airport they departed they must lighten the load. Throwing passengers overboard is frowned upon for some reason, so the crew are forced to dump fuel.

Failure to lighten the aircraft can lead to failures such as flattened tires at the least to collapsed landing gear at the worst, not to mention the resulting damage to the airport’s runway.

Welcome to Flight Aware.

If they’re over max landing weight (MLW) they may blow some tires and do require an inspection, but the landing (up to an including MGTOW) is not unsafe.

Even Wikipedia covers this routine operation.