Passengers recalled hearing loud sounds and seeing sparks flying from the plane engine during their overnight flight to Sydney from San Francisco International Airport on Friday.
The United Airlines flight from SFO experienced mechanical issues after taking off at 11:15 p.m. The flight "got a little bumpy" after 30-40 minutes, according to a passenger Jacob Franklin, and that's when the crew announced the plane was turning around because of an engine problem.
"As soon as we took off there was two loud sounds and two big sparks went from the back to the front. And there was a fuel smell," said Sukhbar Jholl.
The flight landed smoothly at 12:39 a.m. Friday, according to a United Airlines spokesperson.
"We will work to get our customers to Sydney as soon as possible. Our maintenance team is inspecting the aircraft,” said United spokesperson Andrea Hiller.