Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

Flight makes emergency return to MSP after engine casing separates

Author:

A Delta flight made an emergency return to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and passengers got an eye-opening look at why.

The Dominican Republic-bound flight took off around 7:10 a.m. Monday, but an hour later returned to the airport. The flight crew had noticed vibration from the engine shortly after takeoff, FOX 9 reports. The Boeing 737 circled for roughly 25 minutes to burn fuel before making the emergency landing, KSTP says.

"These fellows did the right thing by immediately landing even though they knew there was no major danger," Ross Aimer, a retired pilot for United Airlines and CEO of Aero Consulting Experts, told FOX 9.

An emergency was declared so the flight could get priority from air traffic control, and the plane landed without incident, FOX 9 reports.

Delta confirmed the outer casing, or the engine cowling, had separated, but didn't speculate on the cause of the equipment failure. Aimer told FOX 9 the cowling is not actually bolted down – it has quick-disconnect latches that come together and at high speeds sometimes, if not latched properly, can come apart.

After a three-hour delay, a different aircraft brought the 149 passengers to their destination, according to media reports.

Here's a photo a passenger shared with FOX 9 and KSTP:

These types of incidents are somewhat unusual. In 2008, the National Transportation Safety Board released a report after it investigated incidents in which engine cowlings separated during flight – this happened 41 times worldwide between 1992 and 2008, according to the NTSB. The NTSB concluded that procedures for making sure cowlings are latched properly may be inadequate.

Last November, an Airbus A319 returned to Chicago's O'Hare International Airport when the engine cowling detached shortly after takeoff. The plane landed safely without incident, according to the Chicago Tribune. Last month, a Boeing 777's engine casing was missing after a flight from Newark, New Jersey to Mumbai, India. The Mumbai Mirror reports that officials determined the casing fell off during takeoff in Newark because it was not fastened properly.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2021-11-27 at 9.03.06 AM

Charges: Man shot Uber Eats driver making a delivery in Cottage Grove

Otis Donnell Shipp was charged with second-degree attempted murder after turning himself in on Wednesday.

Screen Shot 2021-11-27 at 7.36.14 AM

Waterfront hotel in Duluth sustains damage in kitchen fire

Authorities estimate the damage at around $75,000.

Screen Shot 2021-11-27 at 7.15.18 AM

Large groups of thieves target 2 Twin Cities Best Buys on Black Friday

It bears similarities to the flash-mob style thefts seen recently in California.

Karl-Anthony Towns

Timberwolves' winning streak snapped at five games

The Wolves' bid for their longest winning streak since 2014 came up short.

Screen Shot 2020-08-14 at 6.45.53 PM

Teen arrested over fatal shooting of 5-year-old boy in Brooklyn Park

Police say the teen was filming a social media video while handling a gun.

Joe Biden

President Biden coming to Minnesota to promote Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

Tuesday's trip follows passage of the $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal.

Kirill Kaprizov

Kaprizov gets into the holiday spirit to rout Jets

Kirill Kaprizov's four points led the Wild to a 7-1 victory.

Kirk Cousins

Coller: Cure to Vikings' disrupted season lies in an explosive passing game

The Vikings go to San Francisco knowing that a win would be a huge boost to their playoff hopes.

unsplash football helmet ground

Judge upholds star QBs suspension for state championship game

Sam Backer, of Chatfield Senior High, won't be allowed to play in Friday's title game.

Related

Delta flight returns to MSP after engine problems

The Delta Air Lines plane was headed to Orlando when an indicator light came on shortly after takeoff. WCCO reports the pilot shut down the engine and safely returned to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Friday night.