An American Airlines Airbus A321neo returned to Pheonix on Wednesday, August 19, after reports of a squealing door. The plane was performing flight number AA-1765 from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) when the incident occurred.
The nine-month-old aircraft, registration number N407AN stopped its climb at 38,000 feet after there was squealing from one of its NX cabin option doors. The pilots took the 196-seater down to 22,000 feet and returned to Phoenix. The plane landed safely back in Arizona some 75 minutes after departure.
A replacement A321neo was brought in by American and completed the journey to Dallas/Fort Worth with a delay of fewer than three hours. According to The Aviation Herald, the aircraft with the squealing door returned to service around 50 minutes after landing in Phoenix.
What causes a door to squeal?
Squealing doors on planes are quite common. They are caused by small leaks of air around the doors seal as the pressurization levels fluctuate. It is a similar noise to what you get when you stretch the neck of a balloon while it deflates. The situation may be a little unnerving to people who do not understand why it is happening. However, it does not pose any danger to the aircraft.
When planes are manufactured, there is always some flexibility built into specific airframe components such as seals on cabin doors. Usually, the squealing sound will go away after a few seconds, but in the case of AA-1765, it didn’t. Therefore, the plane was forced to return to Phoenix and have maintenance take a look at the door. Given that the aircraft was back in the air 50 minutes later, it must have been a simple fix.
American will use the A321neo to replace Boeing 757s
After an eight and a half hour nonstop flight from the Airbus factory in Hamburg, Germany, American Airlines took delivery of N407AN in Pittsburgh on October 12, 2019. Currently, American Airlines has 21 Airbus A321neos in service with more to join in the coming years.
The Dallas/Fort Worth-based carrier opted for the “Cabin Flex” or “NX” option of the A321neo with 196 seats. Each seat on the new plane has a charging point and offers fast WiFi and free streaming live television. American is also the first airline to receive the A321neo with the new larger overhead bins. These have approximately 40% more storage space. In addition, American’s A321neos features mood-lighting, which includes new under-bin lights that run the cabin’s length.
American wants to fly the A321neo on longer routes
When speaking about the Airbus A321neo and its refreshed cabin design, Vice President of Marketing for American Airlines, Janelle Anderson, said the following in a press release:
“We worked closely with Airbus to develop this cabin configuration with the features our customers want, including the Airbus XL overhead bins, which are the largest available for this aircraft and hold 65 percent more bags than our earlier A321s.”
Squealing doors aside, American is betting big on the A321neo and wants to start flying it on some international routes once passenger demand picks up.
Have you flown on American’s A321neo yet? If so, please tell us what you thought of it in the comments.