United Airlines jets sit at a gate at Terminal C...

United Airlines jets sit at a gate at Terminal C of Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, N.J., July 18, 2018. Passengers on a United Airlines jet from Newark, N.J. to Rome, got a steep ride to a lower altitude after pilots suspected a possible loss of cabin pressure, Thursday morning, Sept. 14, 2023. The flight turned around less than an hour into the flight and returned to Newark. Credit: AP/Julio Cortez

CHICAGO — A United Airlines jet headed to Rome turned around less than an hour into the flight and descended rapidly after what the airline termed an indication of possible loss of cabin pressure.

The plane returned to Newark, New Jersey, and landed safely early Thursday morning, the airline said.

United said there was no loss of pressure and passengers' oxygen masks did not drop, but the pilots could not be certain.

Data from tracking service FlightAware showed that the Boeing 777 descended from 37,000 feet to less than 9,000 feet in eight minutes.

Pilots are trained to respond to a loss of cabin pressure by descending to an altitude that is low enough for people on board to breathe without oxygen masks.

The shortened flight had 270 passengers and 14 crew members, according to the airline.

United said it found another plane, which left Newark around 3:30 a.m. and reached Rome after 5 p.m. local time, about six hours later than the originally scheduled arrival time.

NewsdayTV goes behind the scenes of the Gilgo Beach investigation, revealing the shocking findings in the year since the arrest of Rex Heuermann. NewsdayTV's Ken Buffa reports.

Unearthing a suspect: The Gilgo Beach killings NewsdayTV goes behind the scenes of the Gilgo Beach investigation, revealing the shocking findings in the year since the arrest of Rex Heuermann. NewsdayTV's Ken Buffa reports.

NewsdayTV goes behind the scenes of the Gilgo Beach investigation, revealing the shocking findings in the year since the arrest of Rex Heuermann. NewsdayTV's Ken Buffa reports.

Unearthing a suspect: The Gilgo Beach killings NewsdayTV goes behind the scenes of the Gilgo Beach investigation, revealing the shocking findings in the year since the arrest of Rex Heuermann. NewsdayTV's Ken Buffa reports.

Latest Videos

YOU'VE BEEN SELECTED

FOR OUR BEST OFFER ONLY 25¢ for 5 months

Unlimited Digital Access.

cancel anytime.