Alaska Airlines flight from Seattle to San Diego was forced to turn around and make an emergency landing just after takeoff Monday, the airline said, after the engines cowling detached. Dramatic videos shared on social media showed an engine cover, or cowling, flying off while the plane appeared to land. The poster for the video, which has not been verified, wrote: “We survived.”
In a statement early Tuesday, Alaska Airlines said flight 558 reported an “unusual vibration” on the plane’s left side just after takeoff. The aircraft returned to the airport and safely landed, but “part of the metal panels covering the engines, called cowlings, detached from the plane as it touched down,” the airline said.
Alaska Airlines said nobody was injured in the crash, and passengers were rebooked for another flight in San Diego. The airline said the flight had 176 passengers and six crew members when the incident occurred. The two pilots operating the flight had a total flight experience of over 32 years, it said. They, along with our cabin crew, handled the incident with great professionalism and care, Alaska Airlines said. “We are also very grateful for our guests patience throughout the incident,” it added.
The plane, a Boeing 737-900ER, is now temporarily grounded as an investigation by the airlines safety team is conducted, Alaska Airlines said.
For more coverage on this story, check the following additional news sources:
- Alaska Airlines flight turns back, makes emergency landing as engine cover rips off NBC News
- Alaska Airlines plane loses paneling shortly after departure from Sea-Tac KING 5
- Flight forced to turn back and make emergency landing as engine cover rips off msnNOW
- Paneling dislodges, forcing Alaska Airlines flight to return to Sea-Tac KING5.com
- Video: Alaska Airlines 737 Loses Engine Cowling One Mile at a Time