Scary Video: Loss Of Engine Cover On Boeing 737-800 Prompts US Regulator Probe

Scary Video: Loss Of Engine Cover On Boeing 737-800 Prompts US Regulator Probe

FAA Investigates Southwest Airlines Incident

FAA Investigates Southwest Airlines Incident

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has opened an investigation after an engine cover on a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-800 fell off on Sunday during takeoff in Denver and struck the wing flap.

Southwest Flight 3695 returned safely to Denver International Airport around 8:15 am (local time) on Sunday and was towed to the gate after losing the engine cowling. The Boeing aircraft bound for Houston Hobby Airport with 135 passengers and six crew members aboard rose to an elevation of about 10,300 feet before returning 25 minutes after takeoff.

Passengers arrived in Houston on another Southwest plane about four hours behind schedule. Southwest said maintenance teams are reviewing the aircraft.

The plane entered service in June 2015, according to FAA records. Boeing referred questions to Southwest.

The airline declined to say when the plane’s engine had last had maintenance. US media aired a video posted on social media platform X of the ripped engine cover flapping in the wind with a torn Southwest logo.

Boeing has come under intense scrutiny since a door plug panel tore off a new Alaska Airlines, 737 MAX 9 jet at 16,000 feet on Jan. 5. In the aftermath of that incident, the FAA grounded the MAX 9 for several weeks, barred Boeing from increasing the MAX production rate and ordered it to develop a comprehensive plan to address “systemic quality-control issues” within 90 days.

Boeing production has fallen below the maximum 38 MAX planes per month the FAA is allowing. The US Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation into the MAX 9 incident. The 737-800 is in the prior generation of the best-selling 737 known as the 737 NG, which in turn was replaced by the 737 MAX. The US regulator is investigating several other recent Southwest Boeing engine issues.

A Southwest 737 flight on Thursday aborted takeoff and taxied back to the gate at Lubbock airport in Texas after the crew reported engine issues. The FAA is also investigating a March 25 Southwest 737 flight that returned to the Austin airport in Texas after the crew reported a possible engine issue.

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