This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

A United Airlines flight departing New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA) on Tuesday was forced to divert to Newark (EWR) after a mechanical problem with the aircraft came about shortly after takeoff.

Officials told WABC that UA Flight 657 “radioed about a compression issue” just after the Boeing 737-800 took off for Houston (IAH) from LGA.

UA 657
UA 657’s flight path from FlightRadar24.

United isn’t saying what the exact problem was, but a “compression issue” could mean a compressor stall in the engine. A compressor stall occurs when there’s an airflow disruption into the engine compressor. Air flow can be interrupted by a foreign object, like a bird, broken compressor or turbine blades, engine deterioration, extreme pitch or yaw movements or throttle movements, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

Another United flight heading from San Francisco (SFO) to Sydney (SYD) in July also suffered a suspected compressor stall when one engine on the Boeing 787-9 caught fire shortly after takeoff. Passengers on board that flight, UA Flight 863, reported hearing two loud noises and seeing two large sparks about 30 minutes after the aircraft took off from SFO.

Similarly, passengers on board Tuesday’s United flight reported on aviation forum that they heard two loud bangs when the incident began. One passenger wrote: “Anyone else on that flight? 2 loud BANGS when we took off. Right engine partial failure sounds like. We diverted to EWR. Don’t scare easily but that was scary.”

The plane landed safely at Newark, and there were no injuries.

“United flight 657 traveling from LaGuardia to Houston diverted to Newark Liberty International Airport due to a mechanical issue,” the airline told TPG in an emailed statement.  “The flight landed without incident and passengers departed for Houston on a different aircraft. We apologize to our passengers for the inconvenience.”

TPG’s Emily McNutt experienced a compressor stall on a Japan Airlines flight last year. From her window seat, she said “flames were streaming in front of my face,” when the surge occurred. “Every two to three seconds, the engine on my side would spew out flames, accompanied by a sound that echoed like a loud blast and a jolting motion,” she wrote.

Featured image by Ryan Patterson/The Points Guy.

Know before you go.

News and deals straight to your inbox every day.

The best beginner points and miles card out there.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

NEW INCREASED OFFER: 60,000 points! With great travel benefits, 2x points on travel & dining and a 60,000 point sign up bonus worth up to $1,200 in value, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game. Here are the top 5 reasons it should be in your wallet, or read our definitive review for more details.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
18.24% - 25.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.