United flight makes emergency landing at SFO after engine trouble, passengers say

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A United Airlines flight made a safe, emergency landing at San Francisco International Airport early Friday morning after circling around the Pacific Ocean for a mechanical issue.

Flight 863 left SFO at 11:15 p.m. Thursday headed for Sydney, Australia. But passengers noted that about 40 minutes into the flight the Boeing 787 Dreamliner was having some issues. It turned out one of the engines was having some trouble, passengers reported being told by the crew. The pilot circled over the Pacific before returning to SFO at 12:34 a.m., a spokesman at the airport confirmed.

Passengers told KTVU they heard a loud bang before the flight crew told them about the engine failure. 

 “It got a little bumpy,” Jacob Franklin said. “They told us we were turning around. The engine ceased up. Other people were talking about maybe there was fire spitting from the engine. We came right back and here we are.”

Passengers said the landing was smooth. The flight was carrying 259 passengers, and no one reported any injuries.

United responded Friday in an email:  “United Flight 863 San Francisco to Sydney returned to San Francisco due to a mechanical issue. The flight landed safely and we will work to get our customers to Sydney as soon as possible. Our maintenance team is inspecting the aircraft.”