Mid-air drama as packed American passenger plane makes U-turn in skies over South Yorkshire and returns to Heathrow

A packed American Airlines passenger plane has made a dramatic U-turn in the skies above South Yorkshire and returned to London's Heathrow Airport.

Friday, 27th January 2017, 11:07 am
Updated Friday, 27th January 2017, 11:11 am
The American Airlines flight pictured returning to Heathrow. (Photo: RadarBox24).

American Airlines flight AA173 from the capital to Raleigh-Durham Airport in the USA took off shortly after 10am this morning but was forced to turn back south only a few moments into its journey.

A radar app tracking the plane, which was heading for North Carolina, shows the aircraft making a U-turn above Sheffield and heading back across the Midlands towards Heathrow.

The plane was due to touchdown in the US at around 14.20 this afternoon.

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It is not clear at this stage what has forced the aircraft to turn back but there are reports of a mechanical problem and the flight is understood to be safely back on the ground.

RadarBox24, which tracks flight movements, tweeted: "American Airlines #AA173 is returning to London Heathrow."