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March 4, 2013

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Glitches force 2 flights to return to city after take-off

TWO China Eastern Airlines flights that departed yesterday from Hongqiao International Airport returned after taking off because of malfunctions.

Flight MU5103 from Shanghai to Beijing took off about 9:50am from the Hongqiao airport but flew back minutes later and landed at the airport at 10:05am, China Eastern confirmed yesterday.

"The air pressure system within the cabin showed a malfunction after the aircraft took off, so the crew decided to return due to safety concerns," an official with the carrier said. The airline sent another aircraft for the passengers that took off at 12:17pm.

Shortly after that, China Eastern's flight MU567 from Shanghai to Singapore returned to the Hongqiao airport also because of a mechanical problem. Passengers were to board at 9:20am but were delayed for an hour as "mechanical glitches" were fixed, a passenger named Selin said.

After flying for an hour and a half, the captain announced that the glitch was detected again and, without elaboration, said the aircraft had to return. It landed at Hongqiao after circling for another an hour and a half, the passengers said.

"We feel our lives are at risk when being told in the air about a malfunction," Selin said. She said all the passengers applauded after the aircraft landed safely.

Passengers said they heard from crew members that the front undercarriage had problems. The airline said the case was being investigated.


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