United B777 loses engine cover, makes emergency landing in Hawaii
A United Airlines flight was forced to make an emergency landing in Honolulu, Hawaii, on February 13, 2018, after a piece of the plane’s engine cover broke off mid-flight. The aircraft, carrying 363 passengers and 10 crew members, landed safely.
The Boeing 777 was flying over the Pacific Ocean en route from San Francisco to Honolulu when the exterior cover of the plane’s right engine broke off. The incident occurred less than an hour before the plane was set to land in Honolulu.
United spokesperson Charles Hobart said the pilots “followed all necessary protocols” and landed the aircraft safely at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, also known as Honolulu International Airport, adding that passengers got off the plane at the gate as they normally would, CNN reports.
Hawaii Department of Transportation spokesperson Tim Sakahara also assured that the plane landed safely as emergency responders waited nearby and said that one of the engines sustained damage during the flight.
United spokeswoman Natalie Noonan said Flight 1175 made an emergency landing due to a mechanical issue, Bloomberg reports.
Images posted on social media by passengers of the flight show pieces of metal missing from the front of the engine cowling as the plane approaches Honolulu.
One passenger, Jeff Carter, posted a video showing the severe turbulence in the cabin as the plane descended to land. “There was a loud bang… and then the plane really started shaking,” passenger Allison Sudiacal said. “They let us know that we had to brace for impact in case there was a rough landing. It was scary. But they did a really good job,” she added.
The plane declared an emergency due to vibration in the right engine, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) spokesperson Ian Gregor said in an email, adding that the agency will investigate the incident, The Toronto Star writes.
The Boeing 777 is powered by Pratt & Whitney’s PW4000-112 inch engines. The company said in a statement that it is “supporting the authorities in their investigation,” CNN reports.