A new United Airlines 787 Dreamliner flying from Houston to Newark, N.J., had to make an emergency landing Tuesday morning in New Orleans when “a mechanical issue” arose after departure, the airline said.
United Flight 1146 landed safely and without incident, with 174 passengers and 10 crew members aboard.
The cause was not immediately clear.
On a recording of the air traffic control exchanges as the plane headed toward New Orleans, the pilot is heard calmly telling the Houston control center that “we had an electrical malfunction.”
A person at Boeing with knowledge of the incident said the pilot observed “multiple messages” indicating some system errors, and decided to divert “out of an abundance of caution.”
The electrical panels in the jet’s electronics bay were inspected after landing and showed no sign of arcing. There was no fire, the person said.
That suggests this incident is unrelated to an incident two years ago on a flight-test plane, when an electrical short in one of the electronics-bay panels started a serious fire.
“United will work with Boeing to review the diversion and determine the cause,” airline spokeswoman Christen David said in a statement.