United States: Jet loses engine cover over Pacific en route to Honolulu from San Francisco
Thursday, February 15, 2018
On Tuesday, an engine cowling of a United Airlines airliner flying from San Francisco to Honolulu, in Hawaii, flew off over the Pacific Ocean, forcing the pilot to make an emergency landing.
The Boeing 777-200 two-engine jet left San Francisco International Airport shortly after 9:00 am PST (1700 UTC) and was flying the scheduled United Flight 1175 when there was a sound described by one passenger, Maria Falaschi, as "a big bang". Pieces of the right-side engine assembly could be seen blowing in the wind. Passengers said the plane landed 40 or 45 minutes later, during which time they said it shook "violently", "sound[ing] a lot like being inside an unbalanced washing machine" as one posted to Instagram. Many took pictures and videos; one later told ABC News: "I thought we were going to die and hoped that my kids knew that I loved them". She said the flight attendants also appeared afraid. Falaschi said it was the "scariest flight of my life".
The plane landed at 2:42 pm PST; there were no reported injuries. United issued a statement saying the engine cowling had come off because of a "mechanical issue" and that passengers had "deplaned normally" after "pilots followed all necessary protocols to safely land the aircraft" and "taxied to the gate". The statement also said the company would be contacting all the passengers and "plan to fully refund every ticket".
- "United Airlines plans to refund tickets after plane's engine failed over Pacific" — KTRK-TV (ABC 13), February 14, 2018
- Karma Allen. "Passengers recall 'horrible' moment when United plane engine fell apart in midair" — ABC News (US), February 14, 2018
- Michelle Robertson. "United flight from SFO to Honolulu loses engine parts while mid-air in terrifying ordeal" — San Francisco Chronicle, February 13, 2018