Airlines have gotten a bad rap over the past year, ever since a doctor was dragged bleeding off a United Airlines flight last April. But on Tuesday, passenger displeasure turned into horror as an engine began to disintegrate during a flight over the ocean.
Multiple passengers caught videos of pieces flying off one of the two engines on a Boeing 777-222 en route from San Francisco to Honolulu, Business Insider reported. The flight crew sent a distress signal but had nowhere to land in the vast stretch of the Pacific between the West Coast and the Hawaiian Islands.
A Google engineer took a video of the pieces of casing around the Pratt & Whitney PW4000 turbofan flapping in the wind. He tried to make light of the situation.
The damaged engine can be heard and seen shaking during the flight midway between the two land masses.
Despite the trouble, the plane made a successful emergency landing at its destination. A marketing consultant called it the scariest flight of her life.
United Airlines told Business Insider that, "United flight 1175 traveling to Honolulu from San Francisco landed safely after the pilots called for an emergency landing because of a loss of the engine cowling (the covering of the engine). Our pilots followed all necessary protocols to safely land the aircraft. The aircraft taxied to the gate and passengers deplaned normally."
The airline did not specify whether or not the engine mechanisms themselves were failing. The Boeing 777-222 is designed to continue to fly if one of its two engines goes completely out. The cause of the damage has not been released.
We’re very glad everyone got to their destination safely. In other news, there’s been a fatal crash between two sports cars and an SUV in Los Angeles, and you probably know a couple of the people involved.