A plane that skidded off the runway and was disabled had temporarily closed Newark Airport (EWR), delaying numerous flights and causing others to be diverted to nearby airports. The airport is now open again, but delays will still be severe. Here’s what happened. (Note: You can see more photos of the damage to the plane in Heavy’s story here.)
Another update was shared later. The plane will not be moved for a while.
But some people are reporting that their flights still can’t land there.
United Airlines Flight 627 landed around 1 p.m. but then skidded to the left, leaving its landing gear stuck in the grass, PIX 11 reported. On some flights, passengers were told the plane might have skidded or blown a tire, although this has not been confirmed. No injuries have been reported yet, but this is going to cause significant delays that could last much of the day. Inbound flights for EWR are being held until 3 p.m. Eastern. But flights that have been delayed could be delayed from 30 minutes to an hour, passengers have reported. Newark Airport is resuming flights, passengers have said, but the delays will still be significant.
Many are still waiting and aren’t close to leaving yet.
Here’s a video of the scene earlier:
And a photo of the United Airlines plane, shared by @bangzilla on Twitter. You can see the damage at the bottom of the plane near the wheel.
Another closeup photo:
Here’s another photo shared by Michael Ramas on Twitter.
FlightAware is estimating that the average delay today could be at least 90 minutes for departing flights, but that departure time is likely to increase. Every time the Flight Aware link is checked, it seems like the reported delay time is increased.
Newark Liberty Airport first shared the news on Twitter.
Newark has also asked travelers to check their carrier before coming to the airport.
Other passengers received more details from their pilots. For some, this delay happened after a mechanical delay earlier. Beth Ziesenis wrote: “Wow. Our pilot just announced they shut down the Newark airport while they remove a disabled plane. This is after a mechanical delay.”
On another flight, a pilot shared that the plane had skidded and blew a tire.
Others heard there might have been fuselage damage from the landing, but that’s also not confirmed.
Others heard that a nose gear collapsed on a plane that had landed and the wait might be as long as three hours.
According to Jason Rabinowitz on Twitter, passengers said the plane bounded twice and a tire might have burst, but the pilots were able to wrestle the plane to a safe stop without injuries to the passengers.
Up close pictures show blown tires and damage to the nose landing gear. The pilots did a great job keeping passengers safe despite this.
Here is FAA’s official statement on what happened.
Some people have been stuck waiting for two hours or more.
The good news is that regular flight activity at the airport is expected to resume soon. However, with so many flights delayed, it will take a while for flights to catch up even when the airport is no longer closed.
If you’re waiting, you’ll likely still see delays. “Women for Democrats” tweeted at around 3:30 p.m. Eastern: “We are at the airport. They have resumed boarding (and reboarding flights), but very little takeoff and landing activity. Looks to me like there will be a long wait on the tarmac for takeoff. I think they need to get all of us off the ground before more flights can come in.”
Other flights were still being diverted even after EWR opened.
FlightRadar is a good source for keeping up with delays. You can view delays by airports or search for details on your specific flight.