Mayhem on plane after engine cover flies off during flight
Passengers on a Frontier Airlines flight from Las Vegas to Florida were left in a state of panic on Friday morning after a section of the plane's engine cover flew off during takeoff.
Flying is a stressful experience at the best of times; it is not a natural experience to be in a confined space, thousands of feet in the air for hours at a time, and as such tensions often run a little higher on board aeroplanes than they might on terra firma.
In the case of Frontier flight 260, which embarked on its journey to Tampa, Florida at 7.12am, the plane's passengers were fully justified in feeling more than a little scared and distressed, after a section of the engine cover known as a cowling came loose, before separating completely.
A passenger named Stella Ponce reportedly told WTPS;
"I was sleeping, and I woke up to a lot of screaming and yelling.
"People were yelling for the pilot to stop. Two women were crying, and people were pointing out the window."
Another passenger, CJ Gunnerson described a chaotic scene; "It was like a riot on the plane. [People were] jumping up screaming, slamming on the roof, yelling stop."
The plane, carrying a total of 171 passengers and six crew members, was forced to return to McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas as a result of the damage.
According to the airline, the plane landed safely and no-one was injured in the incident.
Allison Redman, a spokesperson for the airline issued the following statement;
"Our pilots followed procedure and immediately returned to the airport.
"The engine continued to operate normally and the aircraft, an Airbus 320, landed safely. Safety is our top priority at Frontier Airlines and we would like to acknowledge the professionalism of our pilots and flight attendants.''
USA Today reports that passengers were given a refund on their tickets and issued with a $500 voucher for a future flight with Frontier Airlines.