A flight bound for New York took off from Germany, flew for 8 hours, then landed 85 miles away from where it started

A flight bound for New York took off from Germany, flew for 8 hours, then landed 85 miles away from where it started

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  • Passengers on Lufthansa Airbus A340-600 flight number 404 flew for eight hours straight and landed just 85 miles from where the plane first took off from.
  • The flight departed from Frankfurt airport and was destined for JFK airport in New York, but was forced to do a u-turn as it reached the Atlantic due to fears there may have been a fault in its hydraulics system.
  • Frankfurt airport is closed during the night, and so the plane was forced to land in nearby Cologne and the passengers were transported by bus back to Frankfurt, a spokesman from Lufthansa told Business Insider.
  • The spokesman said the plane made a safe landing and no problems occured any despite concern over the hydraulics system.
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Passengers on a Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt, Germany to New York had an extremely frustrating day this week when their plane was forced to turn back having only just reached the Atlantic because of a fault in the hydraulics system.

It meant that the plane flew for eight hours straight, but eventually landed in Cologne, just 85 miles away from its first point of departure.

The Lufthansa Airbus A340-600 flight number 404 departed from Frankfurt airport at 5:53 p.m. local time and travelled for four hours until it made a u-turn and flew back to Germany, landing in Cologne airport at 1:53 a.m, a Lufthansa spokesman told Business Insider.

Overall the passengers were flying for eight hours, before they landed almost back where they started.


Screenshot 2019 12 13 at 15.55.26

The Lufthansa spokesman told Business Insider the plane was over the Atlantic near Ireland before crew became aware of a fault in the hydraulics system of the aircraft.

He said the decision to turn the plane around was not due to an emergency, but a "precautionary measure" over worry that the main gear of the plane may face problems when it eventually landed in New York

Due to the fact that Frankfurt's airport closes at night between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. the aircraft was diverted to nearby Cologne - 85 miles away - and the passengers were put on buses back to Frankfurt.

"Some passengers re-booked for the same flight and others whose final destination was not New York City booked different flights," the spokesman told Business Insider.


He said the plane made a safe landing and no problems occured in Cologne despite worry over the hydraulics system.

FILE PHOTO: Lufthansa airplanes are seen parked on the tarmac during a strike of cabin crew union (UFO) at Frankfurt airport, Germany November 7, 2019. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

In a somewhat similar incident, passengers traveling on a KLM flight in Novemberwere forced to endure an 11-hour journey that ended with them being dropped them off exactly where they started because of an erupting volcano.

Flight KL685 took off from Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport and made it all the way to eastern Canada when the crew realized that a volcanic eruption in Mexico meant that the flight wouldn't be able to land at its destination.

The flight turned right back around and headed back to Amsterdam, landing at 2:30 a.m., 11 hours later.


The Dutch airline told the aviation news website Simple Flying that "landing at another airport was not possible, because of the visa requirements of passengers and as there was a large cargo of horses on board."