VIDEO: Emergency Landing After Pieces Rip Off Jet

A Boeing plane's engine cover detached during takeoff on a Southwest Airlines flight
A Boeing plane's engine cover detached during takeoff on a Southwest Airlines flight | Image by Cooper Glass

Another week has brought news of a fresh air safety incident involving a Boeing 737 jetliner.

A Southwest flight bound for Houston was forced to return to Denver Sunday morning after the engine cover ripped off during takeoff.

Multiple videos filmed by concerned passengers show what appears to be the right engine of the 737, with its cowling, or cover, coming apart and flapping in the wind during the jetliner’s short flight and landing. The plane both took off and made its emergency landing at Denver International Airport.

Passengers sitting at the exit row were the first to notice the cover disintegrating and alerted the flight attendants, per ABC News.

Some of the passengers credited the pilot for his skill in safely landing the plane.

“When the captain came out to explain what had happened, [we] gave him a round of applause. It was really an amazing experience,” said passenger Frank Sanger, per ABC News.

The pilot initially told the passengers that the damage may have been caused by a bird striking the engine. Some of the people on the plan also reported having potentially seen something “strike the wing,” according to Sanger.

In a statement later on Sunday, the FAA said that the plane landed safely after “the engine cowling fell off during takeoff and struck the wing flap” and that it was investigating the incident, per WFAA.

Boeing, which manufactures the 737-800, has been under scrutiny lately for a series of high-profile mechanical and structural issues with its planes. Yet in the latest incident, the engine had been manufactured by CFM, a French-American aircraft engine manufacturer based in Cincinnati, not Boeing.

However, some criticism of Boeing, even internally, has been that too much of the manufacturing of these incredibly complex jetliners has been outsourced, The Wall Street Journal reported. Some have suggested that this has resulted in the company’s suppliers being left without adequate quality control and other safeguards.

Some observers have wondered whether Boeing’s very public focus on advancing DEI goals has been contributing to its aircraft’s quality control issues.

“Are they employing people based on DEI and not ability?” was the question Hazel Starkey posed on X regarding the emergency landing.

Boeing has previously told The Dallas Express that most of the blame for these incidents ultimately falls on the airlines as they are responsible for the maintenance of the aircraft.

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