Flight 2547 flew circles around Oakland Airport to burn up fuel before the emergency landing. The plane, which landed without incident, was met by emergency responders that followed it down the taxiway.
The pilot was concerned over landing gear issues. Details were not released, but the plane flew low over the airport before making its approach for the emergency landing, which is common in these situations so observers on the runway can let the pilot know if anything looks amiss.
Landing gear issue on Southwest flight from Oakland to Chicago . Returning now, see it circling on flight aware. pic.twitter.com/sALAtjSd6V— Reggie Aqui (@reggieaqui) December 23, 2015
The plane was scheduled to land around 10 a.m. in Chicago at Midway Airport, according to the Southwest Airlines website. The flight's status was eventually updated to "cancelled."
Southwest released a statement, "The Captain in Command of Flight 2547 from Oakland to Chicago returned to Oakland due to a reported maintenance item on the aircraft. The flight landed Safely and our Oakland Employees are working to get our 139 Customers to their destinations. The aircraft will be taken out of service and inspected. With everything we do, Safety is of paramount importance and we appreciate our Customers' patience while we work to get them to their destinations for the holidays."