Dramatic footage has emerged of the moment passengers aboard a United Airlines flight to Hawaii were told to prepare for an emergency landing after an engine cover fell off.
Flight 1175 from California was able to touch down safely in Honolulu on Tuesday afternoon, but only after the pilots sent out a distress call for the emergency services to be ready to meet it on the ground.
Those on-board had heard a “loud bang” around 35 minutes before the Boeing 777-222 was due to land, which turned out to be the sound of an engine cover coming off.
“There was a loud bang and then the plane really started shaking,” passenger Allison Sudiacal told Hawaii News Now.
“There was a loud boom and then it was like rattling, and the plane was kind of shaking like boom, boom, boom.
“They (the pilots) 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.”
Another passenger, Maria Falaschi, who posted images on Twitter showing the engine with its exterior cover missing, described the journey as “the scariest flight of my life”.
Video uploaded to social media by other passengers shows the engine shaking back and forth, with pieces of the displaced cover flapping in the wind.
Google engineer Erik Haddad appeared to remain calm throughout, despite having the perfect view of the fault.
“That looks bad, plane and simple,” he quipped on Twitter, before adding: “I don’t see anything about this in the manual.”
The incident is being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
United Airlines said in a statement: “United flight 1175 travelling to Honolulu from San Francisco landed safely after the pilots called for an emergency landing because of an issue with the #2 engine.
“Our pilots followed all necessary protocols to safely land the aircraft. The aircraft taxied to the gate and passengers deplaned normally.
“United is fully cooperating with the NTSB and FAA investigation of the event.”