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WATCH: Southwest Boeing 737 Engine Ripping Apart During Takeoff

Boeing’s Continued Engine Issues Spark Questions About Progress over Safety


A Southwest Airlines flight, destined for Houston, stirred unease among its passengers on Sunday, when one of its engines – a significant component on the Boeing 737-800 – demonstrated signs of damage during the flight. The aircraft promptly turned back to Denver when the crew discovered a detachable metal component of the engine had separated during its ascent. A chilling clip circulated by ABC’s lead transportation journalist, Sam Sweeney, shows the metal engine cover flapping perilously as it separated from its place. The incident witnessed by the passengers involved an engine of the Southwest Airlines jet rupturing during the takeoff.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) clarified through an announcement that an engine cowling, a part of the aircraft, had broken away and hit one of the wing flaps of the aircraft. When contacted, a representative from Southwest, via email correspondence, informed The Post that this incident stemmed from a ‘mechanical issue.’ The Southwest Flight 3695 safely touched down at Denver International Airport due to the arisen complications from this malfunction.

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The concerned Southwest spokesperson conveyed to The Post that the travelers on the affected flight would reach Houston Hobby via an alternate aircraft, but with an approximate delay of three hours. The flight had taken its initial departure from Denver International Airport at around 7:49 a.m. local timing, intended for William P. Hobby Airport in Houston. Barely 25 minutes into the flight, the pilots had to bring the aircraft back to Denver, making a secure landing at 8:14 a.m., after which the plane was pulled to the gate.

Currently, the FAA is conducting a thorough investigation into the occurrence. The issue today adds to an increasingly worrying series of safety concerns that have been incessantly hounding the aerospace behemoth throughout the year 2024. This comes on the heels of CEO Dave Calhoun’s recent announcement that he will be resigning from his role by the end of this year.

On the 5th of January, an upsetting near-disaster unfolded when another Boeing aircraft, an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-9 Max, had a part of its fuselage called a door plug, isolate from the plane mid-flight at a high altitude of about 16,000 feet. The aircraft was forced to carry out an emergency landing in Portland, Oregon, with a sizable cavity in the side of its passenger cabin nearly equivalent to the dimensions of a refrigerator.

Thanks to what can only be attributed to a miracle, of all its 177 passengers, only one person was reported injured by the scary incident. This explosion in the Alaska Airlines’ flight was merely the inaugural incident in a cascade of subsequent negative publicity that Boeing has been grappling with this year.

Another case in the previous month saw an incident wherein a United Airlines’ Boeing jet was compelled to initiate an emergency evacuation in Houston when it strayed off its runway. Additionally, around 50 passengers were left in a bloodied and injured state when a Boeing vehicle bound for New Zealand plummeted into a terrifyingly uncontrolled drop. Even President Biden used the opportunity to direct a light-hearted jab at the beleaguered company, casually remarking at a campaign event that he avoids sitting next to the door when aboard Air Force One. The current set of aircraft being utilized by the president is Boeing 747-200Bs, the standard since 1990.

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The issues that Boeing has been dealing with have even sparked conspiracy theories following the demise of its longtime employee, John Barnett. Barnett, a former quality control engineer who had worked with the company for over thirty years, had turned whistleblower, accusing Boeing of prioritizing profits over the safety of their products.

The irony manifested itself on the morning of March 9th when Barnett was scheduled to privately testify against his former employer, Boeing, only to be found lifeless in his pickup truck, holding a pistol, with a bullet wound to his head. Despite law enforcement officials stating they suspect no foul play involved, many Boeing employees who spoke to The Post expressed their doubts about the reported suicide.

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