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.

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.

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