Emirates flight EK18 to Dubai left Manchester Airport at around 1.30pm on Sunday, but circled above Leeds, Huddersfield and Wakefield four times and did not climb above 9,000ft.
It then turned back towards Manchester before being re-directed to Heathrow, where it made an emergency landing at around 3pm with over 800 passengers on board.
The airline later confirmed that problems arose when the jet's front wheel failed to retract after take-off.
The faulty nose wheel can be seen in photos taken of the Airbus in the skies above Yorkshire.
Hammad Rasheed took this image of the plane above his home in Featherstone.