By Patrick Flynn
A transatlantic flight was forced to return to Dublin Airport today after the crew reported a mechanical issue after departure.
Delta flight DL-45 departed Dublin for New York shortly after 11.30am but almost immediately the crew report they had an issue.
The flight was cleared to enter a holding pattern northeast of the airport over the Irish Sea to allow the crew to troubleshoot the issue.
The pilot told air traffic controllers they had detected a “vibration” after take-off and they were trying to establish what was causing it.
It is understood that the vibration was detected in the aircraft’s landing gear during retraction after take-off.
After about 30 minutes circling there, the Boeing 767-400(ER) jet routed north to a location east of Dundalk and entered another patter there for a further half hour. It is understood the crew did this to burn off fuel to ensure they touched down within save landing weight limits.
In the meantime, airport crash crews were placed on standby as a precaution.
The flight landed safely again in Dublin about 90 minutes after originally departing and was met by emergency vehicles. Fire crews inspected the jet’s landing gear to ensure there had been no overheating during the emergency landing.
The aircraft taxied to the terminal where engineers were waiting to investigate the issue.
A spokesperson for the airline said: "Delta flight 45 operating from Dublin, Ireland to New York City returned to Dublin after experiencing a mechanical issue. The flight landed safely and a maintenance team met the flight upon arrival to evaluate the issue. The safety of Delta’s customers and employees is always our top priority."
Update 6.07pm: The flight had been cancelled and passengers sent to local hotels for the night.
The airline confirmed that passengers have been provided with meal vouchers and will be offered “a gesture of service recovery”.
The passengers are expected to continue their journey tomorrow.