More Mechanical Issues Hit United Airlines

Third emergency in two days raises concern whether recent merger is to blame.
3:00 | 08/20/12

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Transcript for More Mechanical Issues Hit United Airlines
Now to the latest air scare. For the third time in two days, united airlines flights were forced to turn around because of mechanical issues. John schriffen is at the new york airport with more. Reporter: Those incidents not only led to hundreds of passengers stranded and many now wondering if something is wrong with united's planes. We blew a fire. We need to declare an emergency. Reporter: Just minutes after takeoff, this plane begins having trouble. From the ground, witnesses see a frightening sight. I ran to the window. I saw the airplane. Saw fire coming out. Reporter: With the left engine on fire and tire blown, the pilot turns around. The tower did physically see flames come out of that engine. Reporter: Two hours later, the plane lands safely. It's the first of three emergencies for united in less than 24 hours. Flight 409 reporting smoke in the cockpit. 1124 turns around due to engine problems. Some wondering if the rocky merger are continental would be to blame. The question is, how well is the maintenance being done? The faa is going want to look at this. Is it coincidence or a greater underlying problem? Reporter: They merged in 2010 and combined operations this year. Since then, the new united has suffered a rash of bad publicity. It has one of the worst numbers for delays. Nearly 600 come plates have been filed. That's five times higher than the nearest competitor. They're going to want to ask questions. Is this a coincidence? Reporter: And united would not comment whether there are maintenance issues caused by the merger. All three planes landed safely and passengers were reaccommodated on other flights. The race for the white house

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