Shortly after takeoff, a United Airlines Boeing 767 reported “uncontained heat and smoke” in the cockpit, forcing the crew to make an emergency landing.
The plane is the same (flag: N666UA) that earlier this month dropped an emergency slide in midair while on final approach to land at Chicago O’Hare Airport after a transatlantic flight from Zurich.
Following the incident on July 17, when the slide pack collided with the side of a residential home, United had not used the aircraft in commercial service.
A planned trip from Chicago to London Heathrow on July 23 had to be postponed and the aircraft remained there for a couple more days before being scheduled to conduct flight UA3 to Zurich.
According to the Aviation Herald, the pilots reported “uncontained heat and smoke on the flight deck” when the aircraft was only 260 nautical miles from Chicago. The plane made a U-turn and returned to Chicago O’Hare, where emergency personnel met it and examined it for signs of fire or smoke.
Before being given the all-clear to taxi back to the gate, the aircraft was left stuck on a taxiway for about 45 minutes.
After the incident on Wednesday, the jet stayed on the ground for a few more days, but according to websites that track flights, United will attempt to fly the plane to London Heathrow on Saturday night.