53-Year-Old Douglas DC-8 Returns To Miami Over Flaps Issues

A Skybus Air Cargo Douglas DC-8 was flying from Miami, Florida, to Georgetown, Guyana yesterday when it had to return to its departing airport due to flap issues. Notably, the aircraft in this incident is over five decades old.

United DC-8
It’s rare to see the narrowbody family in the skies today. Photo: Getty Images

A quick return

According to The Aviation Herald, the aircraft in question is a DC-8-70, holding registration number OB-2059-P. It was conducting flight HVY-8531 with five members of the crew on board. When climbing out of Miami International Airport’s runway 26L the crew advised that they wanted to stop the climb at 3,000 feet. Overall, there was a flaps indicator problem. The crew soon reported they had selected flaps up, but the indicator still showed five degrees.

Subsequently, the crew requested to dump fuel and sought to land on runway 27. After dumping, the plane safely landed. The Aviation Herald adds that during the rollout, there were hydraulic and brakes issues. An aircraft tire deflated and smoke was spotted from the right-hand main landing gear. The jet stopped on the runway and was surrounded by emergency vehicles. It was then towed to the apron.

RadarBox DC-8 Miami
The aircraft landed back at Miami at 06:52 EDT, approximately 50 minutes after initially taking off. Photo: RadarBox

A legend in the game

It is a unique experience to spot a DC-8 presently. The plane was produced between 1958 and 1972 and was a favorite among several veteran airlines.

Today, Skybus holds three units of the type. OB-2059-P, the aircraft involved in the flap incident, first joined Skybus in April 2013. However, its history traces back to July 1968, when it was introduced with Flying Tiger Line. Altogether, according to Planespotters.net, the plane was first produced 52.8 years ago at Long Beach, California. Cargolux, Air India, Evergreen International Airlines, TNT, UPS, DHL, and Peruvian Airlines are some of the other operators that have held the unit.

Delta Air Lines DC-8
The quadjet was a major player in the escalation of the jet age. Photo: Getty Images

More about the airline

Speaking of Peruvian carriers, Skybus itself is based in Peru. The airline shares that it specializes in worldwide military charters. It also works with event and band movements, live horse and cattle services, ACMI operations, dangerous goods, and other general freight activity.

“SkyBus group is a Worldwide 121 Certified Air Carrier operating the trusted CFM56 Powered DC8-70 Fleet of aircraft. Our crews and aircraft meet highest Category 1 Worldwide ICAO Standards and are licensed, operated and maintained in this high standard,” SkyBus shares on its website.

“Our crew are trained and certified biannually at United States Air Carrier training and simulator facilities.”

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The DC-8 may be largely a thing of the past when it comes to passenger services. However, the plane found another lease of life in other realms such as in cargo and even with NASA. Currently, Skybus is one of the few firms to still put its faith in the icon to this day.

What are your thoughts about this Douglas DC-8 returning to Miami over flap issues? Have you ever flown on this model over the years? Let us know what you think of the aircraft and this incident in the comment section.

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