x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 22 February 2018

United Airlines engine falls apart during flight over Pacific Ocean

Passenger says flight was 'scariest of her life'

Damage to an engine on what the FAA says is a Boeing 777 after parts came off the jetliner during its flight from San Francisco to Honolulu. Haley Ebert via AP
Damage to an engine on what the FAA says is a Boeing 777 after parts came off the jetliner during its flight from San Francisco to Honolulu. Haley Ebert via AP

Passengers described their horror after being on a flight over the Pacific Ocean in which the plane's engine fell apart.

The United Airlines flight landed safely on Tuesday in Honolulu after an engine cover came off during its flight from California, the airline said.

"Our pilots followed all necessary protocols to safely land the aircraft," United said in a statement, adding that all passengers departed the Boeing 777 normally at the gate.

The airliner landed as emergency responders waited nearby, said Hawaii Department of Transportation spokesman Tim Sakahara.

Flight 1175 was travelling to Honolulu from San Francisco.

Images posted on social media show an engine with the exterior cover missing as the plane approaches Honolulu. Video shows the engine shaking back and forth with pieces of the cover flapping in the wind.

Passenger Maria Falaschi described the flight as "the scariest" of her life as she posted images on Twitter of the damaged engine above the cloud line.

Fellow passenger Allison Sudiacal told Hawaii News: "There was a loud bang ... and then the plane really started shaking. There was a loud boom and then it was like rattling and the plane was kind of shaking like boom, boom, boom."

Sudiacal was travelling 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.

An emergency was declared due to a vibration in the right engine, said Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said in an email, adding that the agency will investigate the incident.

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