Wednesday, 14 February 2018

United Airlines 777 loses engine cowling mid-flight

Passengers on a United Airlines Boeing 777 endured as many as forty stressful minutes after part of its engine cowling came midflight.  The incident took place in the skies over the Pacific as they headed toward the Hawaiian Islands. 

"There was a loud bang ... and then the plane really started shaking,"  Allison Sudiacal, a passenger on the stricken jet who was travelling with her husband, parents in law and her 4-month-old told local media.  "It was like rattling, and the plane was kind of shaking, like boom, boom, boom," she said.

She praised the United crews who kept the passengers informed of the unfolding drama affecting their Boeing aircraft, although Allison's husband,  Tim, said the incident was "absolutely terrifying."

Cabin crew members instructed the passengers to adopt the brace position as the aircraft came into land at Honolulu airport at 1.02pm local time after warning the landing may be very rough.  There were 363 passengers and 10 crew members on board the Boeing 777 

The pilot of flight  UA1175 from San Francisco to Honolulu requested an emergency landing with fire crews on standby because of the 'mechanical issue', the airline said while the Hawaii Department of Transportation said aircraft rescue and fire crews responded "as a precaution," adding that airport operations and runways were unaffected by the incident.

The US Federal Aviation Administration said the pilot "declared an emergency due to a vibration in the right engine." And confirmed they are investigating the incident, as well as the National Transportation Safety Board.

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