A United Airlines flight experienced engine failure shortly after takeoff on Wednesday and was forced to make an emergency landing, according to multiple reports.
According to data provided by FlightAware, United Airlines Flight 2397 took off from Fort Myers, Florida at 12:12 p.m. on Wednesday, but turned around shortly after takeoff and landed back in Fort Myers 45 minutes later, having originally been scheduled to arrive in Newark Liberty International Airport that afternoon.
In a statement to Business Insider, United Airlines spokesperson Maddie King said the flight from Fort Myers to Newark, “safely returned to Fort Myers yesterday following a mechanical issue. We apologized to our customers for the inconvenience caused by this delay in their travels. Our team worked as quickly as possible to get our customers to their final destinations.”
But the details told by those onboard Flight 2397 paint a much more harrowing picture.
According to a report by USA Today, one passenger on the flight, Cliff Maloney, documented how a “large banging noise,” could be heard right outside the windows and how numerous passengers immediately became worried.
“And then, all of a sudden, you hear the engine. There’s not enough sound or power,” Maloney said to USA Today.
Maloney told USA Today that the pilot came onto the intercom shortly thereafter to make an announcement.
“He tells us right away, ‘Ladies and gentleman, we’ve had engine failure.’ Words you never want to hear,” Maloney recalled to USA Today, adding that the pilot announced they would need to make an emergency landing and that the crew was, “very calm, cool, and collected.”
According to Fox News, the flight landed safely without incident and after an inspection by the fire rescue team, all 79 passengers de-boarded, with several being placed on different flights to Newark.
This is just the latest aviation incident for domestic carriers in the last week and a half. On Tuesday, October 2, a United Airlines plane flying from Los Angeles to Sydney, Australia, made a mayday call and safely completed an emergency landing after the pilots realized they were running low on fuel.
Then on Sunday, October 8, a Boston-bound JetBlue Airways flight from Las Vegas experienced a scary moment when the plane had to be evacuated just before takeoff because of smoke pouring out from its right engine, with one news outlet reporting a blown tire and engine.