It started with an “unusual vibration” on the left side of a busy US commercial airliner and ended with the plane’s engine cover ripping off during an emergency landing.
A dramatic video posted on social media, purportedly from the plane, showed a large piece of canopy shaking wildly during flight and then ripping off completely on landing.
Other photos posted on Twitter showed the plane’s damaged and exposed engine, when it was finally parked on the tarmac.
“Crazy crazy. I was on this flight,” wrote Jacqueline Stonas.
In a statement, Alaska Airlines said the crew aboard Flight 558 had reported “unusual vibration” in the aircraft shortly after takeoff.
The plane returned to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and landed safely, but “part of the metal panel that covers the engine, called the hood, fell off the plane when it landed,” the airline said.
The Boeing 737-900ER is on the ground while engineers investigate the incident.
Pilots and flight attendants handled the incident and landing with “tremendous professionalism and care,” the airline said.
“We also greatly appreciate the patience of our guests during this event.”
What you didn’t know about the A380 superjumbo