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Hydraulic leak prompts United flight to land in Spokane

UPDATED: Thu., Dec. 22, 2011, 8:07 a.m.

A United Airlines flight made an unscheduled stop in Spokane due to a hydraulic fluid leak Wednesday night, leaving the 157 passengers bound for Portland to spend the night here.

Flight 959 from Chicago, which flew from London in the previous stage, first landed at Spokane International Airport around 10:30 p.m. to refuel. That was an unscheduled stop, airport spokesman Todd Woodard said.

The Boeing 757 then departed at 11 p.m., and shortly after takeoff the pilot detected the leak, Woodard said. The plane returned to the Spokane airport at 11:30 p.m., with an emergency response on the ground requested by the pilot as a precaution.

The passengers got off the plane as United inspected the leak and arranged for another flight. A second plane was to be flown in from San Francisco to complete the trip around 3:45 a.m., but that was canceled, Woodard said.

The 157 passengers now are scheduled to depart Spokane at 11:30 a.m. today to complete the trip to Portland.

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