United Express Flight Diverts When Pilots Lose Two Cockpit Screens

Yesterday’s United Express flight UA4390 from Knoxville to Houston diverted to Dallas after two screens in the cockpit of the Bombardier CRJ-200 shut down during flight and couldn’t be restarted.

The plane had taken off on time at 7:36 p.m. without indication of an issue. About an hour and a half into the two hour flight passengers were told they’d be diverting. When they landed the captain explained what happened,

You may be able to see we lost two of our screens. If we kept flying we’d lose them all eventually because there’s not enough cooling. There’s tremendous heat behind those screens.

If we had continued eventually I’d be flying blind. So that’s why we are in Dallas right now. It is unlikely this aircraft is going anywhere tonight.

A passenger recorded the announcement:

While pilots can fly in the blind, it’s prudent not to do so longer than necessary.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. The pilots wouldn’t actually be flying “blind” since they could look out the window. They needed to avoid instrument meteorological conditions (cloud and heavy precip). Then they really would be flying blind if the screens displaying the attitude indicator and other important instruments weren’t working.

    Almost 30 years ago, over Lake Michigan we lost all cockpit lighting on a night flight returning from a Civil Air Patrol mission. We couldn’t see shit inside the cockpit (pardon my French). Fortunately it was a spectacularly clear night, and flying by engine noise and visual reference to the horizon is much easier in a Cessna 172 than in a CRJ.

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