United Airlines Flight Makes Emergency Landing at DAFB

DOVER, Del.- United Airlines on Tuesday said it was investigating what caused a commercial flight to conduct an emergency landing at Dover Air Force Base the evening prior.

The plane landed in Dover before 7:30 p.m. Monday, more than an hour after it took off from Newark en route to Palm Beach. More than 80 passengers remained at the air base for roughly five hours while United sent a replacement flight to pick up the passengers.

In a statement, United did not identify a cause for the mechanical problem that prompted the pilot to call for a flight emergency.

"Our customers later departed on a different aircraft, arriving in Palm Beach early this morning. We apologize to our customers and have provided a goodwill gesture," the statement read.

Col. Corey Simmons, the vice commander of the 436th Airlift Wing, was on duty when the United plane landed at the airbase. He said the situation was serious and unusual but also provided an opportunity for airmen to serve and comfort passengers who had just been on a flight forced to land because of an emergency.

"The abnormal part is that it's a civilian airliner," he said. "When you hear that over the phone for the first time, it's like 'OK, we haven't had that happen in a long time. Let's go to work.'"


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