Plane diversion causes delays


A US-bound passenger jet was forced to turn around over Atlantic and divert to Dublin Airport last night after declaring an emergency reporting mechanical problems.

American Airlines flight AAL-155 departed London Heathrow 6.05pm bound for Boston's Logan International Airport.

The flight, a Boeing 757-200 jet, had passed through Irish airspace earlier crossing the Galway coast at 34,000 feet shortly after 7.00pm.

About 90 minutes into their Atlantic crossing, the crew contacted air traffic controllers to report an issue with a nose-wheel steering system.

The crew said they required to turn around and make an emergency landing at Dublin.

Preparations were put in place at the airport ahead of the flights arrival with crash crews taking up positions at designated locations adjacent to the runway. Units of Dublin Fire Brigade were also mobilised in support of airport crash crews.

As many as 12 arriving flights were placed in holding patterns over the Irish sea north east of Dublin to facilitate a priority landing for the emergency aircraft.

The jet touched down without incident shortly after 10pm and was quickly pursued along the runway by a fleet of emergency vehicles.

Fire crews checked to ensure that the jet's braking system hadn't overheated on landing before the aircraft was towed to the terminal building.

It was expected the aircraft would be grounded overnight until it could be cleared to return to service.