Spirit Airlines plane lands safely at JAX after hydraulic issues

Flight diverted to Jacksonville was headed to Fort Lauderdale from New Jersey

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Spirit Airlines Airbus 320 that was experiencing hydraulic issues was diverted to Jacksonville International Airport for an emergency landing Wednesday morning, airport officials said.

The plane, which had 225 people on board, landed safely just after 8 a.m.

Officials said the flight had taken off from Newark, New Jersey, and was headed to Fort Lauderdale when it began to experience mechanical issues and had to change course and land in Jacksonville.

The plane will need repairs, and another aircraft was headed to JAX to pick up the passengers and get them to Fort Lauderdale, officials said.

The News4Jax I-TEAM did an investigation in 2016 about why so many flights are diverted to JAX.

Aviation expert Ed Booth said Jacksonville's airport is one of the best in the region for pilots faced with an in-flight emergency because it is completely clear of obstructions for miles around the airport.

Booth said JAX also has extremely long runways, a world-class rescue department and Air National Guard stationed on site -- providing pilots with all the support they could need.

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