DFW AIRPORT — An American Airlines flight that left Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport bound for Baltimore Monday afternoon returned to DFW after circling North Texas for almost three hours.
Flight 1654 — carrying 140 passengers and a crew of five — took off shortly after 5 p.m. for what was scheduled to be a five-hour journey to the East Coast, But the aircraft never left the state after what the airline called a "tire problem" with the landing gear.
The McDonnell Douglas MD-80 twin-engine jet flew in a loop, primarily over Collin County, to burn off excess fuel before attempting to land, according to information provided by the FlightAware website.
The jet also made one low pass over the airport so ground personnel could attempt to view the tires, the airline said.
Emergency vehicles were in place along the runway as Flight 1654 landed without incident. Aerial images appeared to show some problem with the plane's nose gear, but the jet came in smoothly and there were no sparks as it touched down.
The 26-year-old plane did not attempt to taxi to a gate; it remained parked on the runway where it stopped.
After about 15 minutes, passengers used the aircraft's rear stairway to board buses to the terminal, where they could continue their journeys.
According to Airfleets.net, American has 151 MD-80 and MD-90 planes in its fleet, with an average age of 22.1 years.