Flight to Shanghai returned after cladding falls off
A China Eastern Airlines’ flight from New York to Shanghai was diverted to JFK airport after metal wrapping from the aircraft’s wing fell off.
Flight MU588 took off from JFK International Airport in New York at 4:25pm on Monday US time and returned to the airport at 7:25pm, according to the Flightradar 24 tracking website.
A photo taken by a passenger showed a piece of the spoiler on the left wing of the aircraft was missing. Some interior parts of the wing were exposed.
“Several passengers noticed the missing part of the wing shortly after takeoff,” said Hou Yangfang, a history professor with Fudan University who was on board. They immediately warned the crew, Hou said.
He said there were about 300 passengers on the aircraft. All remained calm and cooperative after the captain said the aircraft would fly back.
The Boeing 777 circled many times to discharge fuel before landing safely. All the passenger applauded the smooth landing, Hou said.
China Eastern said in a statement that a malfunction was found after the aircraft took off from New York to Pudong and another flight would be arranged soon.
Hou said passengers had to wait for an hour and half on the plane after landing and another two hours for their luggage. They had been accommodated but given no further information.