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Boeing Jetliner Engine Falls Off in 2nd Air Mishap in 12 Hours

From Associated Press

The right engine of a Boeing 737 jetliner fell off shortly after takeoff in Chicago today, about 12 hours after a 3-by-5-foot panel broke off the left wing of a Boeing 757 after takeoff in Atlanta.

Charlotte, N.C.-bound Piedmont Airlines Flight 1480 took off from Chicago’s O’Hare Airport with 27 passengers and five crew members aboard, then returned for an emergency landing shortly before 8 a.m., FAA spokesman Mort Edelstein said. No injuries were reported.

A spokesman for U.S. Air Inc., which owns Piedmont, said the right engine fell off at about 1,000 feet, just moments after takeoff, and landed in a field on airport property.

The engine was a JT8 turbofan manufactured by Pratt & Whitney.

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In the Atlanta incident, a Los Angeles-bound Eastern Airlines flight was forced to return to Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport on Thursday night.

The plane left Atlanta at 8:04 p.m. and was near Birmingham, Ala., when the pilot noticed the missing wing panel, said Jack Barker, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman.

“It was climbing at 28,000 feet, and the captain felt a shudder and heard a noise,” Eastern spokesman Robin Matell said in Miami.

The Boeing 757 returned to the Atlanta airport an hour later, and the passengers were all transferred to another flight.

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Barker said the FAA will investigate the incident, noting that the loss of the panel is “something that happens on rare occasions.”


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