United flight loses engine cover over Pacific Ocean, makes tense landing in Honolulu

HONOLULU — A United Airlines flight landed safely Tuesday in Honolulu after an engine cover came off during its flight from California, the airline said.

“Our pilots followed all necessary protocols to safely land the aircraft,” United said in a statement, adding all passengers departed the Boeing 777 normally at the gate.

The airliner landed as emergency responders waited nearby, said Hawaii Department of Transportation spokesman Tim Sakahara.

Flight 1175 was traveling to Honolulu from San Francisco.

Images posted on social media show an engine with the exterior cover missing as the plane approaches Honolulu.

Video shows the engine shaking back and forth with pieces of the cover flapping in the wind.

“There was a loud bang … and then the plane really started shaking,” passenger Allison Sudiacal told Hawaii News Now . “There was a loud boom and then it was like rattling and the plane was kind of shaking like boom, boom, boom.”

Sudiacal was traveling with her 4-month-old son, her husband, Tim, and his parents.

“They let us know that we had to brace for impact in case there was a rough landing. It was scary. But they did a really good job,” Sudiacal said.

An emergency was declared because of a vibration in the right engine, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said in an email, adding the agency will investigate the incident.

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