US-bound flight in May Day emergency returns to Dublin Airport

By Patrick Flynn

A transatlantic flight has made a U-turn over the ocean and returned to Dublin Airport after the crew declared a medical emergency.

American Airlines flight AA-209 departed Dublin at around 10.15am bound for Chicago in the US.

The aircraft was about 500 kilometres west of Shannon when the crew declared a May Day and turned around.

At the time, the crew had been in radio contact with air traffic controllers at the Irish Aviation Authority’s (IAA) North Atlantic Communications Centre at Ballygirreen in Co Clare.

The crew of the Boeing 787-800 Dreamliner requested emergency medical services to be standing for their arrival.

It is understood that a passenger complained of a suspected cardiac issue and was treated with oxygen while the flight returned.

It is also believed there was at least one medical professional on board who assisted cabin crew with treating the patient.

The crew made a U-turn shortly after 11am and routed back towards Dublin advising air traffic controllers that they need to land “as soon as possible”.

The flight was granted priority clearance back to Dublin.

Inbound aircraft to Dublin were advised that they might be slightly delayed to allow priority landing for the emergency aircraft.

Airport fire and medical crews were standing by for the aircraft when it landed at around 12.15pm almost two hours after first departing.

It is understood the patient was assessed at the scene before being removed to hospital.

The flight is expected to continue to Chicago shortly.

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