A United Airlines Boeing 787 carrying 180 passengers and 14 crew has landed safely at Sydney Airport after declaring a mayday.
The plane was low on fuel and the pilot issued the mayday alert, so it would be given priority to land. The call prompted a full emergency response at the airport with all major surrounding roads closed as a precaution.
United Airlines said in a statement that flight 839 had landed safely at Sydney International Airport following a mechanical issue. ‘The aircraft taxied to the gate and all customers disembarked normally,’ Madhu Unnikrishnan, a spokesman for United Airlines said.
Low fuel reserves trigger an automatic emergency warning, an Airservices Australia spokeswoman said, but the plane had more than enough fuel remaining to land safely.
Flight Safety Australia looked at the topic of Mayday Fuel in August. From 8 November this year, the fixed fuel reserve for small piston aeroplanes will change from a recommended 45 minutes to a required 30 minutes (45 minutes at night), plus any specified variable reserve. Pilots who expect to be landing with less than their fixed reserve will be required to broadcast ‘Mayday Fuel’, to alert air traffic control and other traffic that they require priority to land as quickly as possible.