Alaska Airlines flight turns back, makes emergency landing as engine cover rips off


An Alaska Airlines flight from Seattle to San Diego was forced to turn back shortly after departure Monday and make an emergency landing after an engine cover detached, the airline said.

In dramatic video shared on social media, the cover, or cowling, of an engine can be seen flying off as a plane appears to land. “We survived,” the poster of the video, which has not been verified by NBC News, writes.

In a statement early Tuesday morning, Alaska Airlines said Flight 558 had reported an “unusual vibration” on the left side of the aircraft shortly after departure.

The plane returned to the airport and was able to land safely, but “part of the metal paneling that covers the engine, called the cowling, detached from the aircraft when it landed,” the airline said.

Alaska Airlines said no one was injured in the incident and passengers were rebooked on another flight to San Diego.

The airline said there were 176 passengers and six crew members on the flight when the incident occurred. The two pilots who operated the flight had more than 32 years of combined flying experience, it said.

“They, along with our flight attendants, handled the incident with tremendous professionalism and care,” Alaska Airlines said. “We also greatly appreciated the patience of our guests during this event,” it added.

The aircraft, a Boeing 737-900ER, is now temporarily out of service while the airline’s safety team investigates, Alaska Airlines said.

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