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JFK emergency landing due to oil filter problem, airline says

A worn-out oil filter caused an American Airlines flight with 156 passengers to make an emergency landing early Thursday at Kennedy Airport, just 23 minutes after leaving LaGuardia Airport, an airline spokesman said.

The crew on board the Boeing 737 that was bound for Orlando, Florida, had reported an issue with one of two engines while in the air.

The airline said the crew chose to divert “out of an abundance of caution” and that preliminary indications were that the engine had no visible damage.

A Port Authority spokesman, Rudy King, said the plane landed “without incident.”

American spokesman Ross Feinstein said the aircraft’s indicator light communicated an error or fault message to the crew relating to the engine. Mechanics determined later that the filter was the problem, he said.

“It was an issue with the oil filter on the engine,” Feinstein said Thursday evening. “The plane will be back in service tomorrow morning.”

American said all 156 passengers and the crew of six were moved to a different aircraft.

“We never want to disrupt our customers’ travel plans,” an emailed statement from American said, adding, “and we are sorry for the trouble this caused.”

Just last month, a Southwest Airlines 737, bound from LaGuardia to Dallas, Texas, was forced to make an emergency landing in Philadelphia after an engine exploded 20 minutes into its flight, leaving one passenger dead.

It was the first fatality on a domestic commercial flight in the United States since 2009.

The cause of the accident, which involved the left engine, is under investigation by the NTSB.

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