An American Airlines Embraer ERJ-175 was forced to evacuate passengers on the runway after it suffered a mechanical issue shortly before landing at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
The American Airlines Embraer ERJ-175 was operating American flight 4965 from Memphis International Airport to Washington-Ronald Reagan National Airport on Saturday, October 16.
The aircraft landed at Reagan National Airport at 3:54 pm, having departed from Memphis International at 1:21 pm local time with 71 passengers and four crew members.
This jet has been stopped in middle of @Reagan_Airport main runway for at least 15 mins. Fire & rescue arrived after about 10 mins. Still there. @petemuntean @wtop #aviation pic.twitter.com/lkQQQX4XBJ— Dave Statter (@STATter911) October 16, 2021
Due to the mechanical issue, pilots used emergency brakes to stop the aircraft. Several tires were blown on the runway after landing. The pilots described that the scene could have ended up worse hadn’t they applied the emergency brakes. “We were, we were not gonna stop,” the pilot said.
After landing safely, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) Fire and Rescue team reached the scene some 10 minutes after landing. The aircraft sat on the runway for about 15 minutes while being accessed by the emergency teams.
Passengers disembarked the aircraft on the runway and were bussed to the terminal, and the plane was towed away from the runway after the evacuation was completed. In a statement, an airline spokesperson said:
“American Eagle flight 4965, operated by Republic Airways, with service from Memphis to Regan National Airport (DCA), experienced a mechanical issue upon landing at DCA. The flight landed safely, and there were no reported injuries. All passengers were bussed to the terminal.”
None of the 75 passengers and crew members on board was injured. However, air traffic control temporarily closed two runways, and some flights were diverted to Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport and Dulles International Airport.
Reagan airport had advised its passengers to directly contact their respective airlines for the latest details on the flight status as the American aircraft had temporarily disrupted air traffic. The air traffic was resumed at 6:15 pm, and all three runways were operational by 8 pm.
The Embraer ERJ-175, with registration N404YX, was involved in the incident. It was delivered to the airline back in August 2013 and is currently 8.2 years old.
The aviation watchdog Federal Aviation Administration had said that it would investigate the mechanical issue.