Passengers flew into a panic as they watched an engine cowling fly off in the middle of a flight from San Francisco to Honolulu today, about 40 minutes before it was scheduled to land. Erik Haddad was a passenger on UA#1175 and filmed this video:
— Erik Haddad (@erikhaddad) February 13, 2018
Allison Sudiacal, who was traveling with her family and 4-month-old son, told Hawaii News Now, “There was a loud bang … and then the plane really started shaking. There was a loud boom and then it was like rattling and the plane was kind of shaking like boom, boom, boom.”
United said pilots followed all necessary protocols to safely land the plane. Sudiacal added, “It was scary. But they did a really good job.”
Passenger Maria Falaschi tweeted that the flight was one of the scariest moments of her life.
— Maria Falaschi (@mfalaschi) February 13, 2018
United Airlines has issued a statement, saying all passengers “deplaned normally at the gate.” The airline says the incident “called for an emergency landing due to a mechanical issue.” As a precaution, fire trucks and emergency personnel were on the scene when the plane landed.
363 passengers and 10 crew members were on board. The NTSB and FAA are investigating.
Editors note: We originally called this an uncontained engine failure. However, we changed the title to reflect the fact that there is no statement yet that any engine blades escaped the damaged cowling. We will continue to update the story as we get more information.