An American Airlines crew operating a Boeing 777-300ER had to return to Dallas Fort Worth, its origin airport, due to an issue with their water supply!
Most incidents generally involve safety concerns, but of course there are exceptions. Sometimes there are emergencies relating to the health of a passenger. And sometimes like in this occasion, there are incidents of a different nature: sanitation.
The flight experiencing the water supply issue was American Airlines AA-50. It would fly from Dallas Ft. Worth (KDFW) in Texas, USA, to London Heathrow (EGLL) in the UK. According to passenger statements, maintenance was working on the aircraft before departure. This caused a delay of 2.5 hours before the incident.
An Unresolved Water Supply Issue?
The flight eventually departed from DFW’s runway 35L at 5:54 pm local time, on the 29th of May (Saturday). It soon climbed to FL330, settling on its cruise to London. Unfortunately, it only travelled about 280NM, going as far as Arkansas river. The American Airlines crew then announced that they would have to return to DFW, due to a water supply issue. The flight had only been in the air for about 40 minutes. They turned back when they were just north of Pine Bluff, Arkansas.
The aircraft descended to FL220 for its return, likely to burn some extra fuel. They eventually made a safe landing to runway 35C, having spent about one hour and a half in the air. In the end, the passengers were able to board another American Airlines 777. They finally reached London with an eight and a half-hour delay.
The American Airlines aircraft with the water supply issue is a Boeing 777-323(ER). It’s only 6.6 years old, having first flown in November of 2014. We don’t know how difficult its water supply problems were, however American Airlines returned the plane to service a day and a half later.
While a problematic water supply may seem a minor issue, it can become costly, as this American Airlines flight showed. The flight time from DFW to London Heathrow is just over 8 hours. We don’t know how many passengers were on this 304-seat 777 on Saturday, but it hardly matters.