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Flight circles nearly five hours, returns back to SFO

A flight was turned back to San Francisco International Airport on Monday after a mechanical defect on the plane was detected, an airport spokesman said.

Hong Kong Airlines Flight 61 reported a flap issue after taking off at about 2:25 p.m. Monday, according to SFO spokesman Doug Yakel. The plane circled in the sky above the airport for nearly five hours, according to flight tracking software FlightAware, before alighting at SFO around 7:20 p.m.

One disgruntled passenger complained on Twitter Monday night that she went on a “flight to nowhere,” writing:

“[W]elcome to boo boo the fool airlines.”

The flight was rescheduled for Tuesday and departed at 9:30 a.m., Yakel said via email.

Hong Kong Airlines was not immediately available for comment on the issue.

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