An inflatable emergency evacuation slide from a United Airlines Boeing 767 detached from the aircraft while in flight and fell to the ground.
The incident occurred yesterday (July 17) while the jet – operating Flight 12 from Zürich – was on approach to Chicago/O’Hare airport.
Pictures circulating on social media show the grey-coloured slide in a residential environment surrounded by police cars. No injuries or damage to property have been reported.
In a statement to Key.Aero, a spokesperson for the airline, said: “We immediately contacted the FAA and are working with our team to better understand the circumstances around this matter.”
According to media reports, maintenance workers discovered that the slide was missing upon arrival in Chicago.
United confirmed that the 767-300ER, N666UA (c/n 29238), was carrying 155 passengers and ten crew.
The 25-year-old widebody returned to service in August 2021 after a year-long period of pandemic-induced storage at Roswell Industrial Air Center, New Mexico.
Uniform Alpha is powered by two Pratt & Whitney PW4000 turbofans and is configured to seat 167 passengers in a three-class layout.
It is not clear how the slide fell off the aircraft, as they are stored inside the door assembly.
This is not the first time a 767 has lost an emergency slide while in flight. In December 2019, a Delta Air Lines 767-300 was on approach to Boston/Logan when the slide detached from the aircraft.