Frontier Airlines Passengers 'Jumping Up,' 'Yelling Stop' as Engine Piece Detaches on Take Off
Passengers on board a flight from Las Vegas to Tampa, Florida, on Friday were in for a scare when a section of their plane’s engine broke off during take off, forcing an emergency landing.
According to a spokesperson for Frontier Airlines, during a flight on Nov. 30, a piece of the engine cover, identified as the “cowling,” came “loose and separated from the aircraft.”
Some passengers on board the aircraft were understandably in a state of panic after seeing the piece detach. Brandon Rittiman, who’s Twitter bio says he is a special projects reporter for ABC 10 Sacramento, tweeted a photo of the plane’s engine provided by his friend CJ Gunnerson, who was on the flight when the incident occurred.
Gunnerson told him “the hatch came up and ripped off during take off,” and that people were “jumping up screaming, slamming on the roof. Yelling stop,” Rittiman says.
The airline spokesperson tells PEOPLE in a statement that their pilots followed procedure, immediately returning everyone to the airport for an emergency landing.
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“The engine continued to operate normally and the aircraft, an Airbus 320, landed safely,” the representative says. “Safety is our top priority at Frontier Airlines and we would like to acknowledge the professionalism of our pilots and flight attendants. We worked to get our passengers to their destinations as quickly as possible and all of them were re-booked.”
Each of the passengers on board were given a refund for the flight along with a breakfast voucher and a $500 voucher for future travel with Frontier airlines, and the airline says, they are covering the full cost of re-booking them on other airlines.
The spokesperson tells people that the plane was carrying 171 passengers, two pilots and four flight attendants on board at the time of the incident, and that there were no injuries.