SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — An engine cowling on an United Airlines Boeing 777 on its way from San Francisco to Honolulu blew apart Tuesday while jet was approaching the Hawaii Islands, according to the airline and passengers aboard the flight.
United Flight 1175 left San Francisco International Airport at 9:38 a.m. and all was normal for much of the five-hour-plus trip to Honolulu’s Daniel K Inouye International Airport.
Passenger Erik Haddad tweet photos and video of the damaged engine. He said the engine began spewing debris about 36 minutes from the Honolulu airport.
Fellow passenger Maria Falaschi took to social media to call it the “scariest flight of my life.”
Passenger Jeff Carter also took to social media posting — “Today I learned that if the #2 engine explodes on your #united flight, it sounds a lot like being inside an unbalanced washing machine.”
Aaron Ebert also posted video to Twitter.
“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.”
Sudiacal was traveling with her 4-month-old son, her husband, Tim, and his parents.
“They 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,” Sudiacal said.
Fortunately, the engine did not catch on fire.
Emergency crews were scrambled at Honolulu International and the plane landed safely. No injuries were reported.
When asked for comment United Airlines provided the following statement.
“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)” the statement read. “Our pilots followed all necessary protocols to safely land the aircraft. The aircraft taxied to the gate and passengers deplaned normally.”