American Airlines flight lands safely in Calgary after medical issue

American Airlines flight lands safely in Calgary after medical issue
American Airlines flight diverted to Calgary after medical emergency, mechanical issue
A flight from Dallas to Beijing was detoured to Alberta Thursday afternoon following a medical emergency and a mechanical issue.

Flight AA263 departed Dallas-Fort Worth late Thursday morning and was scheduled to arrive in Beijing  Friday afternoon. The Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner was diverted to Edmonton International Airport due to an undisclosed medical concern involving a passenger but rerouted to Calgary International Airport due to its longer runway.

American Airlines officials confirm to CTV Calgary that the original diversion was in relation to an ill passenger but a subsequent mechanical issue prompted the decision to land in Calgary. The aircraft was fuelled to land in China and efforts were made to reduce the landing weight of the Dreamliner.

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner then spent about two hours burning off fuel before landing safely at Calgary International around 5 p.m.

The aircraft traced a path north through Manitoba before veering southwest through northern Saskatchewan and entering Alberta just east of Fort McMurray. The flight continued towards Edmonton before circling the provincial capital and heading south. The Dreamliner looped back north around Drumheller before making its final approach to Calgary over Airdrie.

The aircraft landed at Calgary International Airport shortly before 5:00 p.m.. Emergency crews were deployed to the airport ahead of the landing on 17 Left runway..

Flight 263 was en route to Beijing from Dallas when the pilot reported a medical emergency and diverted to Edmonton.

There was a medical situation that arose, passenger Timothy Zhang told CTV Calgary after clearing customs at th Calgary International Airport. The captain asked if there were any medical personnel on board to assist and volunteer. There were a couple of doctors and nurses who went and talked with this elderly lady. She was experiencing chest pain and had difficulty breathing. They got her on some oxygen and got her legs elevated and, based on their recommendation, the captain decided to divert the plane.

Upon getting close to Edmonton, we were told we were circling and, from what I later on gathered, the plane had mechanical difficulties, an issue with the flaps, so the plane couldnt slowdown on the runway at Edmonton.

American Airlines officials say the passengers will be placed in hotels for the night. A second aircraft will be sent to Calgary Thursday evening and will transport the passengers to Beijing on Friday.  The rescheduled flight is expected to depart Calgary at 7:00 a.m. Friday and arrive in Beijing at 8:00 a.m. Saturday.

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An American Airlines Dreamliner at the Calgary International Airport following an emergency landing during a Dallas-Fort Worth to Beijing flight on October 11, 2018 (photo courtesy: Rinat Haque)

The plane had flown over 700 miles north of the U.S.-Canada border when it turned southwest shortly after 3:45 p.m. and began looping around Edmonton and then Calgary, according to Flight Aware data. The aircraft did not climb above 10,000 feet or 400 mph since before 5 p.m.

An American Airlines Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner on the runway at Calgary International Airport after making an emergency landing on flight from Dallas-Fort Worth to Beijing

The Boeing 787-8 finally touched down in Calgary just before 7 p.m. The airlines maintenance team will determine the mechanical issue, according to Feinstein. 

The flight path of American Airlines flight AA263 during the effort to burn fuel ahead of the Dreamliners emergency landing in Calgary (image: Flightradar24)

Dave Sutherland photographed the American Airlines Dreamliner on Thursday afternoon as it passed downtown Edmonton (image courtesy: @Daveography)

A flight from Dallas to Beijing was detoured to Alberta Thursday afternoon following a medical emergency and a mechanical issue.

The AA plane that declared a mayday in #yyc has landed safely. Still being inspected by emergency services.

An American Airlines flight was diverted to Calgary on Wednesday after a passenger fell ill on board.

Crew members originally said theyd be landing in Edmonton, but switched to Calgary for a longer runway, passenger Gurmeet Singh said.

According to an airline spokesperson, flight AA263 was expected the flight would be “landing heavy” as it was carrying enough fuel to make it to China.

The airline sent a replacement plane to Calgary, which will take passengers to Beijing in the morning, Feinstian said. 

The plane, which took off from Dallas, also had a mechanical issue with one of the flaps, which are meant to reduce speed on landing.

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The flight was originally diverted to Edmonton, but because of landing concerns, the flight path was changed a second time to land in Calgary as YYC Calgary International Airport has a longer runway.

American Airlines said the passengers will stay overnight in Calgary and be put up in hotels, and re-depart for China on Friday.