China Eastern Flight Dumps 30 Tons of Fuel to Make Emergency Landing
The pilot of a China Eastern flight traveling from Shanghai (PVG) to New York (JFK) on Friday made the decision to dump 30 tons of fuel before diverting to Anchorage (ANC) after a medical emergency was declared on board.
According to the Straits Times, a 60-year-old woman on China Eastern Flight 587 began to feel unwell and complained of difficulty breathing. As the situation grew more critical, and the woman reportedly slipped in and out of consciousness, crew moved her from her economy seat to business class and attempted to perform basic first aid.
After assessing the situation, the Boeing 777-300ER pilot, Gu Jian, decided the passenger needed more medical attention than was available on board. Just more than eight hours of flight time into the journey, which typically takes 15 hours, the pilot was forced to dump 30 tons of fuel in order to be light enough to land at ANC.
"The airplane's weight was 282 tons, far more than the maximum landing weight," Jian said to CGTN. "When the sick passenger needed medical attention for safety reasons, the plane had to descend and dump fuel at the same time."
Once the aircraft landed at ANC, the woman was removed from the plane and taken to a nearby hospital.
After refueling, the aircraft (registration B-2020) took off for its final destination of JFK after about a six-hour delay.
The Straits Times reports that the woman eventually recovered, was discharged and continued her journey to New York with her daughter the following morning.