Last night UA 29 made it to LAX with a 3 hours delay due to a change of equipment.
Plane (N502UA) left gate on time at 8.55 pm but never made it to its cruising altitude. We circled the JFK area for over 90 minutes at a low altitude. Captain eventually mentioned he was experiencing hydraulic problems in one of the wings and had to burn fuel before making it to the ground. He also said that landing was going to be very rough.
Descent was incredibly fast, landing was indeed rough at very high speed. All traffic was stopped at JFK and all possible firemen trucks of the airport converged to our plane as we were landing. Not familiar enough with JFK to tell you which runway was used (but we used it all…)
Inspection of the plane was performed and we were invited to get off the plane after 20 minutes. Another UA aircraft was getting cleaned and our luggage transferred as we waited at gate 8. We eventually took off past midnight and reached LAX at 3.25am this morning. Instead of the 11.45 pm expected arrival. What I don’t understand is why the status for this flight on united.com doesn’t show any delay!
This was the last leg of a long six weeks business trip to Europe flying 16 uneventful segments on CO, IB and AF with not much to report. Other than being really impressed by CO’s Business First (flew EWR-BHX and MAD-EWR with them). Will fly them again.